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Israeli authorities have decided to close the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the heart of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), to Palestinians, Muslim worshipers and non-Jewish visitors for seven non-consecutive days.
Yousif Ideis, the Palestinian minister of endowment and religious affairs, said on Sunday that the sacred site will be closed to Palestinians and non-Jews on October 3, 4, 9, 12, 18, 19 and 26.Palestinian worshippers
Israeli officials have said the shutdown is aimed at maintaining security in the wake of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Feast of Booths) and Simchat Torah holidays.
Ideis added that dozens of illegal Israeli settlers broke into the mosque courtyard on Saturday night amid protection by Israeli troopers.Palestinian worshippers
In the meantime, Israeli authorities are closing all passageways between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel, as well as between the occupied West Bank and Israel for Rosh Hashanah.Palestinian worshippers
Israeli officials regularly impose stringent restrictions for Palestinians during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes.Palestinian worshippers
The constraints include denied access to the Ibrahimi Mosque, which is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims and has been the site of violent tensions between Israelis and Palestinians for decades.Palestinian worshippers
On February 25, 1994, at least 29 Palestinians were killed and 125 others wounded when American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein opened fire on a large number of Palestinian Muslims, who had gathered inside the Ibrahimi Mosque to say prayers during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.Palestinian worshippers
The occupied territories have already been the scene of increased tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.Palestinian worshippers
Nearly 250 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of last October.Palestinian worshippers