Israeli settlers under the heavy protection of Israeli forces raided the garden of the Ibrahimi mosque and uprooted olive trees, in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on Sunday.
Raed Musawda, head of public relations at Hebron’s Islamic Endowment (Waqf), said that Israeli forces provided protection to a group of Israeli settlers, who raided the garden of the Ibrahimim mosque and uprooted a number of olive trees.
Musawda added that the Palestinian Civil Liaison intervened and prevented Israeli settlers from continuing the attack and demanded that the soldiers prevent its recurrence. There has been a noticeable increase in attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property, as well as against holy sites during the past two months.
Following the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre on February 25, 1994 when Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim worshipers at the mosque killing 29 and injuring more than 120, a 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control; the Ibrahimi mosque was also split into a synagogue — known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs–.
The Ibrahimi Mosque fell under the Israeli military-controlled H2 zone, which also includes the rest of the ancient Old City and the once thriving Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.
Some 800 notoriously aggressive settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.