Al-Khalil, (Alresalah.ps)-- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defiled the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil hours after the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin desecrated the site.
Netanyahu's provocative “visit” came just ahead of Israeli elections with the Prime Minister seeking to attract votes from Israeli settlers.
“We're not strangers in Hebron. We'll stay in it forever”, said Netanyahu who attended a ceremony marking 90 years since 60 Israelis were killed in al-Khalil during the Palestinian Al-Buraq Revolution in 1929.
The Ibrahimi Mosque is located in the Old City of al-Khalil where around 400 Jewish settlers live under hefty Israeli army security.
Israeli forces clamped a curfew on the Palestinian neighborhoods of the old section of Hebron as hundreds of soldiers and police were deployed in preparation for Netanyahu’s provocative “visit”.
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry condemned Netanyahu's visit and described it as "racist" and "provocative".
“This is a purely colonialist, racist visit that Netanyahu is doing at the height of an election battle in an attempt to win votes from the right and the extreme right”, the ministry said in a statement.
The Palestinian Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs said that the visit is a "serious escalation that would “drag the region into a religious war with grave consequences”.
The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, for its part denounced the visit and stressed that al-Khalil, Jerusalem and all Palestinian cities will remain Arab, and that all Israeli attempts to alter their identity will fail.