The Palestinian Authority accused Israel on Tuesday of infringing on freedom of worship following restrictive measures imposed on services at the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron.

Israel has imposed restrictions on the religious services of all faiths, as part of the limitations placed on public gatherings due to COVID-19.

The P.A.’s Wafa news agency claimed that the “Israeli occupation forces” prevented Palestinians from attending morning prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, the Arabic name for the cave and for the Tomb of the Patriarchs inside.

According to the report, the Israel Defense Forces has set up checkpoints, tightened its inspections along the roads leading to the site and prevented groups of more than 50 people from entering the mosque or gathering outside the compound.

According to Israel National News, Hefzi Abu Sneineh, director of endowments for Hebron, condemned “the Israeli measures that strive to keep Muslim worshippers away from the site by closing the electronic gates and blocking residents’ paths at military checkpoints.”

He called the measures “an attack on the holy places of Islam” in contravention of international treaties on freedom of worship.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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