Palestinians mark Prophet Muhammad's birthday in Hebron amid Israeli restrictions

Palestinians mark Prophet Muhammad's birthday in Hebron amid Israeli restrictions

Muslims across world celebrate birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, a day of spiritual significance in Islam

By Qais Abu Samra

HEBRON CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinians in Hebron city in the southern part of the occupied West Bank on Thursday celebrated the birth anniversary of Islam's Prophet Muhammad amid heavy restrictions.

A religious ceremony was organized by the Islamic Waqf department in the Ibrahimi Mosque and included sermons and religious songs celebrating the event.

Hebron's Old City also was decorated by balloons, light ropes and banners marking Prophet Muhammad's birthday.

Ghassan Al-Rajbi, director of the Ibrahimi Mosque, told Anadolu that the mosque was fully opened for the worshippers to mark the religious event.

He, however, added that the Israeli forces intensified their measures near the mosque like searching the people and checking their IDs.

Muslims across the world celebrate the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar, with the day varying from country to country according to the lunar calendar. Prophet Muhammad passed away on the same day as that of his birth at the age of 63.

Revered by both Muslims and Jews, Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque complex is believed to be the burial site of the prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque by a Jewish extremist settler, Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided in July 2017 to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old city of Hebron on its World Heritage List.

Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a series of Jewish-only enclaves heavily guarded by Israeli troops.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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