The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) announced on Friday that preventing Palestinians from accessing 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 massacre of Ibrahimi Mosque, the PLO’s Human Rights Department proclaimed: “Since 25 February, 1994, Palestinians have been prevented from reaching the mosque, praying inside it and raising Azan a lot of the times that the Israeli Jewish settlers do not desire.”
On 25 February, 1994, extremist Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire at Palestinian worshippers while Palestinians performed dawn prayer at Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29 worshippers and wounding over 100 others.
“Since then, the Israeli occupation authorities have been Judaising Ibrahimi Mosque by preventing Palestinians from entering it when the settlers celebrate their rituals,” the statement shared.
“This is considered a violation of all the international laws and conventions related to human rights and freedom of worship,” the PLO’s statement added.
It continued: “There are decisions issued by international bodies that decided that Ibrahimi Mosque is part of the human heritage and is a sacred place exclusive to Muslims and Palestinians.”
The PLO called for the international community to stand by its responsibilities and afford international protection for Palestinians and their holy places under the Israeli occupation.
Following the massacre, Israel confiscated half of the mosque and handed it over to the Israeli settlers, continuing its intermittent closure of the other half. On many occasions, the occupation expanded its closers to Hebron’s Old City to clear it for Israeli settlers.