World Bulletin/News Desk
The Israeli authorities will close the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron to Muslim Palestinian worshippers next Sunday and Monday for the Jewish Sukkot holiday, Hebron's Muslim endowments authority has said.
"The Israeli army has notified the chairman [of the endowments authority] that it would completely close the complex to Muslim worshippers next Sunday and Monday and that it would allow Jewish settlers to enter the premises on the occasion of the Jewish feast," read a statement issued by the authority in reference to the nine-day Jewish holiday that began Wednesday.
Israeli authorities have repeatedly closed the complex off to Muslim worshippers over the past week in preparation for the Jewish Sukkot holiday, also known as the "Feast of Booths."
In a related development, confrontations broke out earlier Wednesday outside occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex – the world's third holiest site for Muslims – between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli forces after the latter imposed tight restrictions on Muslims entering the complex while allowing Jewish settlers into the area for the beginning of Sukkot.
Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque complex – known to Jews as the "Cave of the Patriarchs" – is believed to contain the graves of the prophets Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Since the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque by extremist Jewish extremist settler Baruch Goldstein, Israeli authorities have kept Muslim and Jewish worshippers segregated.
Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and some 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a number of Jewish-only settlement compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.Last Mod: 08 Ekim 2014, 14:40