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In photos: Hundreds perform Eid prayers at Ibrahimi mosque

July 18, 2015 6:14 P.M. (Updated: July 22, 2015 6:14 P.M.)
(MaanImages)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians on Saturday performed Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, despite Israeli efforts to curtail worship at the holy site, locals said.

The Israeli authorities reportedly prevented the mosque from sounding the Athan prayer call through its external speakers, claiming it annoyed Israeli settlers living in illegal settlements across the Palestinian city.

Hebron’s mayor, Daoud al-Zaatari, condemned the restrictions and said that Palestinians ought to be able to perform all religious rituals and prayers at the Ibrahimi mosque.

The Ibrahimi mosque, which is believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is of religious significance to both Muslims and Jews.

The site has historically been a flashpoint between Palestinians and Israelis, particularly after a Brooklyn-born Jewish settler massacred 29 Palestinians there in 1994.

Israeli troops today maintain checkpoints at all entrances to the site.

Jewish access was restricted after the 1994 massacre under an agreement between the Israeli authorities and the Islamic Endowment that controls the site, although Israeli soldiers regularly break with its terms.

Around 700 settlers live in 80 homes in the city center of Hebron, surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians.

The settlements -- illegal under international law -- are protected by the Israeli army in the tightly controlled city, where many streets are off limits to Palestinians.

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