Israeli settlers have razed a historic neighborhood near Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, also known as Hebron, as Israel presses ahead with its plans to Judaize the Old City south of the west bank.
Palestine’s official Wafa news agency, citing a local source, reported on Monday that the illegal settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, bulldozed 400 square meters of land near Ibrahimi Mosque, also called the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Tawfik Jahshan, head of the legal department of the Hebron Reconstruction Committee, said the Old City of Hebron is a cultural and natural heritage site of rare and exceptional value, which requires preservation and protection.
He called on the international community and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) member states to assume their responsibilities towards the Israeli regime’s ongoing violations against Palestinians, stressing the need to take effective measures and protect the intellectual and cultural heritage of Palestine.
He also appealed to the Muslim community to promptly intervene in order “to stop this destruction and this escalation and dangerous practices by the occupation and its settlers aimed at seizing the Palestinian land and altering its history and culture.”
The city of Hebron is a flashpoint of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
Despite being home to about 200,000 Palestinians, significant parts of the city’s center are already occupied by about 800 Israeli settlers.
The holy site complex is believed to mark the burial sites of Prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In 2017, UNESCO recognized Ibrahimi Mosque as an endangered Palestinian heritage site.