PA: Israel bans Hebron call to prayer 60 times in April
Published Sunday 04/05/2014 (updated) 06/05/2014 12:51
HEBRON (Ma’an) – Israel has forbidden the Muslim call for prayer through loudspeakers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron 60 times in April because it bothers Jewish settlers, the Palestinian ministry of endowment said.
In a statement Sunday, the ministry’s Hebron office highlighted that it was not the first time the call to prayer, or adhan, was prohibited at the Ibrahimi Mosque.
“As usual, Israeli occupation authorities forbade adhan at minarets of the Ibrahimi Mosque during the month of April under the pretext that it annoys settlers who visit the Jewish part of the mosque during Jewish holidays.”
The Israelis, added the statement, ignored the feelings of Muslims and ignored as well all international laws and conventions which guarantee freedom of access to worship places.
Hebron is a frequent site of clashes due to the presence of 500 Israeli settlers in the Old City, many of whom have illegally occupied Palestinian houses and forcibly removed the original inhabitants. They are protected by thousands of Israeli forces.
A 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control.
The Israeli military-controlled H2 zone includes the ancient Old City, home of the revered Ibrahimi Mosque -- also split into a synagogue referred to as the Tomb of the Patriarchs -- and the once thriving Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.