Protests against Israeli plans to construct near Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque continue to intensify after Israeli army-protected contractors worked on the mosque in order to install a nearby electric elevator.
Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset made a supportive visit to Hebron on Saturday and vowed to back Palestinian efforts to preserve the UNESCO-protected heritage site.
Israeli occupiers of Palestine are digging up the land around World Heritage "protected" Ibrahimi Mosque to construct israeli-only access pic.twitter.com/Wn5ZASZz63— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) August 12, 2021
UNESCO, the UN cultural organization, declared the ancient and hotly contested core of Hebron in the Israel-occupied West Bank as “in danger,” despite a concerted diplomatic effort by Israel and the US to change the verdict.
Knesset Member Sami Abu Shehadeh told Arab News that a delegation of the Joint Arab List was hosted by the city’s mayor, waqf officials, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.
“The changes that they are trying to carry out near the mosque are illegal and racist,” he said.
He added that Israelis were claiming that the changes are to help the disabled.
“But even this so-called benevolent act is not available to disabled Palestinians because it is being created in an area that is restricted only to Jewish settlers.”
Israeli forces attacked Palestinian worshippers with tear gas and sound bombs after Friday prayers at Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, occupied West Bank.— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) August 14, 2021
About 5,000 Palestinians performed prayers in protest against Israel’s construction plan around the mosque pic.twitter.com/qiZPr4xXah
Abu Shehadeh and others experienced for themselves the difficulties that normal Palestinian worshipers face in reaching their own mosque.
“Even as members of the Knesset — who cannot be disrupted by the army — we had a hard time crossing so many checkpoints. Imagine what it is like for ordinary Palestinians,” he said.
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