The Arab League has condemned Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, for storming and defiling the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
In a statement on Sunday, the Arab league said the incursion of the mosque was in line with the continued and persistent policy of Judaization of Islamic and Christian holy sites by Israel, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
The regional organization stressed that the move constitutes a disrespect for and provocation of the feelings of all Muslims.
The holy site was split into a synagogue, known to Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs, and a mosque after American-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994. Since then, Muslim worshipers have been prevented from having access to the site during Jewish holidays.
On Sunday evening, Herzog, amidst strict military measures, took part in a candle lighting ceremony at the mosque during his planned visit to the holy site.
Israeli forces closed the mosque's gates and prevented Palestinian residents, who had gathered to denounce the visit, from praying or being in the vicinity of the site.
Israeli forces also attacked protesters in an attempt to disperse the angry crowds of Palestinians.
The Israeli troops even forced the shop owners to close their shops and hindered the work of the Palestinian press crews in a bid to prevent them from covering the intrusion.
What the city of Hebron is exposed to, especially the Ibrahimi Mosque, and the planned storming by the Israeli president confirms the occupation authorities' persistence to go on with their aggression and racism, the Arab league added.
The pan-Arab organization also stressed that the visit proved the continuation of Israel’s official and organized terrorism against the Palestinian people, their rights, and their sanctities.
The organization added that the new incursion into Ibrahimi mosque was in line with the occupying entity’s policy of Judaizing al-Quds by targeting al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Arab League further called on the international community, particularly the United Nations, to condemn Israel’s targeting of Islamic and Christian sanctities, including this intrusion, and take necessary measures to confront such acts of aggression.