Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

12 Aug, 2015

Israeli Defense Minister Breaks into Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

HEBRON, August 11, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Tuesday morning broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron. WAFA correspondent reported that Ya’alon broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque under tightened security protection.

He said in anticipation of Ya’alon’s provocative visit, Israeli forces closed down all of the old market gates leading to the Mosque, effectively denying Palestinian Shari‘a Court employees as well as Muslim worshippers access into the Mosque.

The Mosque caretaker Munther Abu al-Feilat denounced Ya’alon’s act describing it as an attempt to obliterate the Palestinian and Islamic nature of the Mosque and the Old City of Hebron.

This came after Israeli authorities decided to deny Muslim worshippers access into the Mosque while allowed Jewish settlers to force their way into it from Wednesday 10am to Thursday 10am purportedly for celebrating the first of September according to the Jewish calendar.

Israeli Police Block Women, Children Access to Al-Aqsa Mosque

JERUSALEM, August 11, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli police have denied women and children access to al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem, provoking resentment among the crowds, according to local sources.

WAFA correspondent said a scuffle broke out when the police denied a crowd of women and children access to the Mosque. The worshipers, women and children, chanted religious slogans against the police to show their anger. Police arrested a woman and a minor during the clash.

Last month, dozens of worshipers were injured during clashes with Israeli police private units, after they broke into the holy site and severely assaulted worshipers.

The clashes saw Israeli police private units throw rubber-coated metal bullets at the defenseless worshipers, which caused tens of suffocation cases by teargas inhalation.

In the midst of these attacks on July 29, the Israeli minister of agriculture, Uri Ariel from the Jewish Home right-wing party has provocatively broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque, heavily guarded, in coordination with the ministry of interior.

Jews refer to the site as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples destroyed in ancient times. The site is home to the third holiest Mosque in Islam, and houses al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

The site has witnessed recurrent clashes in recent years between Muslim worshipers and Israeli police, most frequently due to provocative visits by Jewish extremists who believe the mosque should be destroyed and replaced with a Jewish temple.