After rapid legal proceedings in Israeli courts undertaken by the legal department of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee in cooperation with the Directorate of Islamic Endowments in Hebron, the large menorah erected by Jewish settlers on the 13th of December was removed from the roof of the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The Jewish settlers, in erecting this menorah, aimed to judaize the Ibrahimi Mosque and ignore its extensive Arab and Islamic history as well as its crucial religious significance for Muslims.
Using this menorah, the settlers took advantage of the celebration of Hannukah, the Jewish holiday also referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights,’ to draw attention to the Ibrahimi Mosque and gain sympathy from Jews both in the occupying state and around the world for their goal of turning the Ibrahimi Mosque into a synogogue.
After the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre of 1994 over half of the mosque was seized by the occupation authorities and given over to the settlers following the decisions and recommendations of the Shamgar Commission which was formed to investigate the massacre.
Since this time, Jewish settlers and occupation authorities have repeatedly violated the sanctity of the religious space in a variety of ways including the use of alcohol on the premises for Jewish religious ceremonies, which is strictly forbidden in the Islamic religion, and have also raised Zionist flags on the facade of the Ibrahimi Mosque. In addition, the Israeli government included this Palestinian site in a list dedicated to national heritage rehabilitation, a move that was subsequently condemned by the international community and contradicted by a UNESCO vote which affirmed the site as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories. Furthermore, electronic gates have been erected at the entrance to the Mosque order to hinder the access of visitors and worshipers alike.