Israel begins 'judaising' the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron with electric elevator

Israel begins 'judaising' the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron with electric elevator
The installation of an electronic elevator at the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron comes amid warnings by the Palestinians that Israel is carrying out its plans to erase the site's history and legacy.
3 min read
West Bank
08 June, 2022
The real goal is to impose complete control of the Israeli occupation on the fourth holiest place in the Islamic world. (Getty)

The process of establishing an electronic elevator in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque located in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron has reached its final stages amid Palestinian warning that Israel is carrying out its plans to Judaise the fourth holiest place in the Islamic world. 

In May, Israeli authorities began to demolish and bulldoze a number of archaeological steps and installed an elevator, using heavy equipment and trucks, which were surreptitiously entered under cover of darkness. 

The structure consists of two sections: the first is longitudinal with a height of about 10 meters, while the second section consists of the other transverse, connected to the western door of the Ibrahimi Mosque.

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Speaking to The New Arab, Palestinian activists said that installing the elevator was a further step aimed at "Judaising the Ibrahimi Mosque and changing its Islamic civilizational identity", as it was subjected to deliberate operations to distort its archaeological features and historical courtyards.

The activists added that the real goal of the Israeli occupation is to impose complete control over the Islamic world's fourth holiest site and to keep it open to the incursions of extremist settlers.

"Constructing this elevator aims at facilitating settlers' incursions into the mosque. It is a thinking that has existed for several years," Issa Amru, the coordinator of "Youth Against Settlements", told The New Arab

The project is being implemented on 300-square-meter land belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Ministry of Endowments. 

On May 12, 2020, an Israeli court issued an approval for the construction of a roundabout road to the Ibrahimi Mosque through its outer courtyards, and to allow the construction of an elevator for the compound.

Since then, Palestinians have submitted numerous legal objections to the Israeli courts requesting the construction be stopped. However, their requests were rejected by the Israeli judiciary.

"In our pleadings, we relied on the decision of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, issued in July 2017, to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Old City of Hebron on the World Heritage List, but to no avail, as the judiciary is part of the occupation system," the activist stressed. 

"The refusal of the freezing request gave a justification to start implementing the building permit for the elevator and the road," Amru added. "The judge who rejected the freezing order lives in a settlement built forcibly on occupied West Bank."

Moreover, there is no official Palestinian seriousness in following up on the file, Amru pointed out. He further warned that if the Palestinian action on this case remains timid, there will be no desired result.

"This project is part of several settlement projects that aim at transforming the Arab-Islamic identity of Hebron into a Jewish-Hebrew identity and a theft of Palestinian history," Sheikh Hefzy Abu Sneina, director of the Ibrahimic Mosque, told The New Arab

Abu Sneina further noted that the Israeli claimed that their project aims at facilitating people with disabilities, but in reality, the "Old City in Hebron is surrounded with more than twenty military checkpoints, and they prevent Palestinians from reaching the mosque to perform the prayer, so it is better to remove them so that we can freely arrive to pray there."

The director called on the international community to immediately intervene to protect the Ibrahimi Mosque and implement the UNESCO decision that designated the mosque as a world heritage site.