For more than one month, Israeli authorities have planned and began the implementation of a new and permanent checkpoint structure, with other permanent buildings, on the historic grounds of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City district.
According to the PNN, their plans (as seen below) reveal that vast damage will be done to the historic grounds of this cultural heritage site. The plans include the removal of stones from the site, which is more than 2,000 years old. These plans will permanently damage the historical mosque and the aesthetic fabric of the area.
This is seen as an unprecedented attack on a historical site of this nature, 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 plans, the intent is to install two large buildings (as outlined in red below) on the grounds of the holy site.
The two large buildings are not consistent with normal security checkpoints. The oversized structures are seen as obtrusive and unnecessary. Normal checkpoints are meant to be temporary minimal structures installed during a military occupation. However, the plans reveal 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 pictures below:
The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee deplores what they deem as an 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 requested from human rights organizations, cultural heritage protection workers, diplomats, foreign governments, UN agencies and other intermediaries. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee has called on these organizations, individuals and groups to work quickly, in an attempt to prevent permanent damage to the mosque, one of Palestine’s most treasured historical and religious sites. All forms of assistance are needed. It has been requested that the information about the plans and activities be spread immediately. Advocacy initiatives are to take place without delay.