PA blasts prayer restrictions in Cave of the Patriarchs

PA accuses Israel of violating freedom of worship following restrictive measures decided upon in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Dalit Halevi ,

Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the Patriarchs
Photo: TPS

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official Wafa news agency claimed on Tuesday that the "Israeli occupation forces" prevented Palestinian Arabs from attending morning prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Arabic name for the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron).

According to the report, the IDF has set up checkpoints, tightened its inspections along the roads leading to the Cave of the Patriarchs, permitted only 50 Muslim worshipers to enter the site and prevented others from praying at the plaza outside the compound.

Hefzi Abu Sneineh, director of endowments for Hebron, condemned what he called “the Israeli measures that strive to keep Muslim worshipers away the site by closing the electronic gates and blocking residents' paths at military checkpoints.”

He called these measures "an attack on the holy places of Islam" in contravention of international treaties on freedom of worship. Abu Sneineh urged Palestinian Arabs to come to the Cave of the Patriarchs and hold prayers there.