For the second time in less than a week, Israeli authorities will ban Muslim worshipers from entering Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30 in preparation for the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur on Oct. 4.
An official at the mosque told Ma’an via email that the mosque would be completely closed to Muslim worshipers, while “Jewish settlers” would be allowed free access.
The Israeli authorities closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers last Thursday and Friday on the occasion of the Jewish New Year as well.
Restrictions on Palestinian movement across the West Bank are frequently put in place during major Jewish holidays, ostensibly for security reasons.
Hebron specifically is a frequent site of tensions due to the presence of 500 Israeli settlers in the Old City, many of whom have illegally occupied Palestinian houses and forcibly removed the original inhabitants. They are protected by thousands of Israeli forces.
In 1994, an Israeli settler opened fire on Muslim worshipers in the Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29 and injuring more than 100 Palestinians.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.