Palestinian Information Minister, Mustafa Barghouti, decried Saturday the Israeli decision to ban the Palestinian Waqf minister from attending a special ceremony in the ancient Palestinian city of Hebron, on the occasion of Prophet Mohammad’s Birth Day.

Mohammad Altartoury, the Palestinian Endowment and Religious Affairs (Waqf) Minister, was heading for Hebron’s Alharam Alsharif mosque, where a special celebration was being held, but was banned from atttending by the Israel.

“The Israeli action against Minister Altartooury is part of a long series of Israeli practices against the Palestinian unity government and the Palestinian people”, Barghouti stated. The information minister said that such practices would not shake the Palestinian people’s faith in their just cause and that the Palestinian government would remain united with its people in spite of all the difficulties.

Since a Hamas-led government was installed after last January’s elections, Israel has announced a boycott of this government. Since last summer the Israeli army has abducted at least 45 Palestinian ministers and MPs in a bid to undermine the governing Hamas.

I March this year, Palestinians formed a unity government including Hamas and Fatah, however, Israel will boycott the Palestinian cabinet until it 'recognizes Israel’s right to exist', renounces violence and accepts past signed agreements. Up to this moment, Israel is an ‘occupying power’ that strictly controls all parts of the West Bank and the occupied east Jerusalem, imposing grip movement restrictions on Palestinians through approximately 450 checkpoints and roadblocks.