Israel closes Ibrahimi mosque to Muslims for Passover
Israeli authorities closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron to Muslim worshippers for two days on Monday to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover, according to a Palestinian official.
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"The Israelis have notified us about the closure of the Ibrahimi Mosque as of Monday morning until Tuesday night," Hafthi Abu Sneineh, director of religious endowments in Hebron, told Anadolu Agency.
"The mosque will be closed to Muslim worshippers and opened only for Jewish settlers during Passover,” he said.
According to Abu Sneineh, Israeli forces were deployed in the mosque’s courtyard on claim of providing protection to Jewish.
Revered by both Muslims and Jews, the Ibrahimi Mosque complex is believed to mark the burial sites of the prophets Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Following the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque by extremist settler Baruch Goldstein, Israeli authorities kept Muslim and Jewish worshippers separated.
Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and some 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a number of Jewish-only enclaves that are heavily guarded by Israeli troops.