Israeli occupation forces today assaulted and dispersed a group of activists taking part in a demonstration outside the archeological Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, south of the occupied West Bank, in protest of a plan by Israeli President Isac Herzog to visit the holy site later today to celebrate Hanuka holiday.
Yesterday, Palestinian officials described Herzog’s planned visit as a provocation and a flagrant violation of the sanctity of the site, and that the Israeli occupation will bear full responsibility for the repercussions of this attack on the site.
Several Israeli left-wing groups also lambasted the president’s planned visit to the Ibrahimi Mosque and urged protests against it.
The Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoints at the roads leading to the holy site assaulted the protesters who waved Palestinian flags and shouted slogans that expressed their rejection of the provocative visit.
After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque by a Jewish extremist settler, Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli occupation authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslims and Jewish settlers.
The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.
In early 2019, Israel expelled the only international observers protecting Hebron’s Palestinians from 800 heavily guarded settlers, one of whom committed the 1994 massacre that triggered their deployment.