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Israel banned call to prayer at Ibrahimi mosque 52 times in December

Jan. 4, 2015 6:02 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2015 8:10 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities banned the Muslim call to prayer through the speakers of the Ibrahimi Mosque 52 times in December, saying it bothered Jewish settlers, the Palestinian Ministry of Endowment said Sunday.

The ministry said in a statement that the prohibition of the Muslim call to prayer was an "assault on heavenly religions and on the freedom of worship."

"This is an ongoing policy by the Israeli occupation authorities seeking to impose restrictions on Muslims and prevent them from performing prayers at the noble mosque," the statement said.

The statement added that in addition to restrictions on the call to prayer, Israeli forces regularly impose tough military restrictions at the entrances of the Ibrahimi Mosque.

In October, Israeli authorities prohibited the call to prayer 61 times.

The Ibrahimi Mosque, believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is located in central Hebron, a frequent site of tensions due to the presence of 500 Israeli settlers in the Old City.

A 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control.

The Israeli military-controlled H2 zone includes the ancient Old City, home of the revered Ibrahimi Mosque -- also split into a synagogue referred to by Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs -- and the once thriving Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
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