For more than one month the Israeli Government and Occupation Authorities have planned and have worked on installing a new permanent checkpoint structure and other permanent buildings on the historic grounds of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City. Their plans (as seen below) reveal vast damage will be done to the historic grounds of this cultural heritage site. The Israeli plans include remove stones from the Mosque’s site which is more than 2000 years old. These plans will permanently damage the historical Ibrahimi mosque and the aesthetic fabric of the area.
This is an unprecedented attack on a historical site of this significance in Hebron. Although Palestinian authorities have filed objections to the military orders for these plans, the work has resumed. From what is known of the Israeli Government/Military plans, they intend to install two large buildings (as outlined in red below) on the grounds of the holy site which can be seen in the following picture:
The two large buildings are not consistent with normal security checkpoints. The oversized structures are obtrusive and unnecessary in the area. Normal checkpoints are meant to be temporary minimal structures installed during a military occupation, however, the subject plans reveal the Israeli intentions to establish a permanent presence at the site and develop large structures for reasons other than “security”.
Actual work on the grounds of the historic Ibrahimi mosque being carried out by Israeli military forces can be seen in the below pictures:
Hebron Rehabilitation Committee deplores this assault on this Palestinian national cultural site. The plans to alter the historic site, which is protected under international law, are in violation of various humanitarian and human rights laws including the Geneva Conventions and are tantamount to war crimes.
Urgent intervention is needed by human rights organizations, cultural heritage protection workers, diplomats, foreign governments, UN agencies and other actors. Hebron Rehabilitation Committee calls on these organizations, individuals and groups to work quickly in an attempt to prevent permanent damage of Ibrahimi Mosque, one of Palestine’s most treasured historical and religious sites. All forms of assistance are needed. Information about the Israeli plans and activities must be spread immediately. Advocacy initiatives must take place without delay.