Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Israelis keep agreement on Cave of Patriarchs; Muslims complain

Ever since 1996, under the Wye River memorandum, Israel and the PA agreed to divide access to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

For most of the year, the Muslims have exclusive access to 81% of the site; the Jews have the other 19%.

For ten days a year, though Jews have exclusive access and for ten days the Muslims have exclusive access. (Jews cannot visit the cenotaphs to Isaac and Rebecca except for those ten days.)

So, naturally, when the Jews have access, the Muslims complain.

For Rosh Hashanah,Yom Kippur and the first days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, Jews will be able to visit the entire site. This is apparently big news to Egypt's Youm7 site, which has a screaming headline about Israel "closing" the site.

Not only that, but they interview Zaid Jabari, an official in Hebron, who says that "the Ibrahimi Mosque mosque is purely Islamic in its entire area; none of it has any relation to the Jews at all, and all actions taken against it are false. This closure is not the first for the Ibrahimi, but comes within the series of attacks continuing against it. The occupation seeks to impose Israeli hegemony on the Ibrahimi Mosque by force of arms, and turning it into a synagogue."

He urged the international community to pressure Israel to give the entire shrine to Muslims.

It's really funny how a shrine that predates Islam and that is the resting place of the founders of the Jewish people is considered Islamic by Muslims.

And not a single Muslim would ever publicly disagree.

Keep in mind that under Muslim rule, non-Muslims were not allowed to enter the shrine at all. And even between 1967 and 1996, Jews who visited were often attacked by Muslims:

In 1968, a special arrangement was made to accommodate Jewish services on the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement. This led to a hand-grenade being thrown on the stairway leading to the tomb on October 9 in which 47 Israelis were injured, 8 seriously. On November 4, a large explosion went off near the gate to the compound and 6 people, Jews and Arabs, were wounded. On Yom Kippur eve, October 3, 1976, an Arab mob destroyed several Torah scrolls and prayer books at the tomb. In May 1980, an attack on Jewish worshippers returning from prayers at the tomb left 6 dead and 17 wounded.