A Jewish worshiper prays during the pilgrimag
A Jewish worshiper prays during the pilgrimag Reuters

An Egyptian court on Monday banned an annual Jewish pilgrimage in the Nile Delta province of Baheira honoring a Moroccan rabbi, saying it went against local traditions, a judicial official told AFP.

A court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria issued an indefinite ban on celebrations marking the birthday of Yacoub Abu Hasira, held annually in January since 1979, the year Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty.

Abu Hasira lived between 1805 and 1880. 

Despite an earlier ban on the pilgrimage during the regime of ousted Muslim Brotherhood leader Hosni Mubarak, hundreds of Jews from Morocco, France and Israel continued to visit Abu Hasira's shrine in Dutmo village.

On Monday, the court in Alexandria issued a final ruling banning the festival indefinitely, the judicial official said.

Dutmo residents had filed a case denouncing the security measures imposed for the festival, and also charged that its rituals were "inappropriate to Egyptian rural customs," the official said.

The "inappropriate" rituals include the mingling of men and women and the consumption of alcohol. 

The court also revoked an earlier decision made by Egypt's Cultural Ministry to list the rabbi's tomb as a heritage site.