Israeli forces on Saturday denied Palestinian entry to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City and stormed Palestinian homes as Jewish worshippers entered the area, locals said.
Local sources told Ma’an that Jewish worshipers continued entrance to the occupied West Bank city for a Jewish holiday for the second day in a row.
Over 4,000 Jewish worshipers reportedly visited the city Friday night, accompanied by a heavy Israeli military presence in the area, when two Israelis were shot and injured near the mosque.
The assailant reportedly fled the scene and Israeli forces searched the area following the attack.
Israeli news sites reported that Israeli soldiers deployed on the rooftops of Palestinian houses overlooking the holy site in order to protect Jewish worshipers in the area Saturday morning.
Eyewitnesses also told Ma’an that an Israeli soldier was shot by friendly fire in the al-Ras area east of the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Resident of the area, Jamal Abu Iseifan, told Ma’an that he “heard two gunshots and saw an Israeli ambulance evacuating a soldier who seemed to have been shot and injured.”
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the Israeli soldier was injured by the “accidental discharge of a bullet,” but had no further information on Saturday’s incidents.
Several attacks have taken place over the past month near the Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
The holy site was split into a synagogue and a mosque following a 1994 attack by an Israeli settler who opened fire on Muslim worshipers, killing 29 and injuring more than 100 Palestinians. more