Some 10,000 Palestinians prayed at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Friday, the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid a heavy presence of Israeli forces.
Sheikh Hamdi al-Zghayyar, a preacher at the mosque, stressed to the worshipers the importance of visiting and praying at Ibrahimi Mosque in order to prevent Israeli plans of “Judaizing” the mosque.
The mosque, believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews and has been the site of oft-violent tensions for decades. The holy site was split into a synagogue — known to Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs — and a mosque after US-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994.
Head of Hebron’s Islamic Endowment (Waqf) Hajj Ismail Abu al-Halaweh told Ma’an that despite the checkpoints and the large number of Israeli forces in the area the mosque was still “full of worshipers.”