‘Baning Palestinians off Ibrahimi Mosque is a violation of international law’ – Middle East Monitor
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) announced on Friday that preventing Palestinians from accessing the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron “is a violation of international laws and conventions”.
In a statement issued on the 28th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, the PLO’s Human Rights Department proclaimed: “Since February 25, 1994, Palestinians have been prevented from accessing the mosque, to pray inside and to raise the Azan many times that the Jewish Israeli settlers do not want.”
On February 25, 1994, extremist Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinian worshipers while Palestinians were performing dawn prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29 worshipers and injuring over 100 others.
“Since then, the Israeli occupation authorities have Judaized the Ibrahimi Mosque by preventing Palestinians from entering it when the settlers perform their rituals,” the statement said.
“This is considered a violation of all international laws and conventions relating to human rights and freedom of worship,” the PLO statement added.
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He continued, “There are rulings made by international bodies that have decided that the Ibrahimi Mosque is part of human heritage and is a sacred place exclusive to Muslims and Palestinians.”
The PLO called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and provide international protection to the Palestinians and their holy sites under Israeli occupation.
After the massacre, Israel confiscated half of the mosque and handed it over to Israeli settlers, continuing its intermittent closure of the other half. On numerous occasions, the occupation has extended its crossing points into the old city of Hebron to free it for Israeli settlers.