Israeli Occupation Troops Close Down Wakf Department and Mosque in Hebron
Posted: 20 Zul-Hijjah 1421, 16 March 2001
Al-Khalil (West Bank), (IAP News) - In a fresh repressive measure against Palestinians,
the Zionist occupation troops on Thursday closed down the Wakf department in al-Khalil's
old town without any explanation.
According to Wakf officials, zionist occupation soldiers stationed outside the Wakf
offices barred Wakf officials from entering the premises alleging that the place was a
"closed military zone."
Wakf chief in al-Khalil Sheikh Salah Kawasmi pointed out during press conference at
al-Khalil City Hall Thursday that the purpose of the closure was to appease Jewish
settlers in the Old Town who would like to expel Palestinians from the city and obliterate
its Arab-Islamic identity.
"They gave no reason for the closure, nor did they say if it would be temporary or
permanent, they were only carrying out the settlers' wishes " said Kawasmi.
Earlier, the zionist occupation army closed down the retail vegetable market as well as
the adjacent Sunniya Mosque, declaring both "a closed military zone."
Palestinian sources intimated that occupation troops were acting at the settlers' beck
and call, particularly in the period since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada five
Al-Khalil is the only Palestinian town in the West Bank where the zionist occupation
army is still maintaining a significant military presence to protect the estimated 250-300
Jewish settlers living in the tiny Jewish enclaves in the city.
The settlers in al-Khalil are considered among the most violence-prone of Jews
Last week, many of them rampaged through the city, attacking Palestinians and
vandalizing their property in the full view of Israeli occupation soldiers.
In 1994, one of settlers from the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Araba, named
Baruch Goldstein, massacred over 40 Palestinian worshippers while they were praying at
dawn at the town's Ibrahimi Mosque.