Remembering the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre
In an event which cemented the city's occupation, Baruch Goldstein gunned down Muslim worshippers 20 years ago today.
Hebron, occupied Palestinian territories:
On February 25 1994, a US-born Israeli military physician walked into the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron armed with a Galil assault rifle. It was early morning during the holy month of Ramadan, and hundreds of Palestinians were crammed inside, bowed in prayer.
Twenty years later, Palestinians are carrying out memorial events and Hebron's settlers are preparing celebratory pilgrimages to Goldstein's shrine inside Kiryat Arba...
Baruch Goldstein, who had emigrated to Israel in 1983, lived in the Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of the city. As worshippers kneeled, Goldstein opened fire. He reloaded at least once, continuing his barrage for as long as possible before finally being overpowered and eventually beaten to death. By the time he was stopped, 29 worshippers were killed, and more than a hundred had been injured...
The massacre was widely reported in the international media - but many Palestinians here continue believe that the full story has never been told. The 29 people killed inside the mosque were not the only "martyrs" that day. Locals estimate the final number of deaths at between 50 and 70 - and an estimated 250 were injured over the course of the day. After the initial attack inside the mosque, more Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army during protests outside the mosque, outside Hebron's Ahli hospital, and even in the local cemetery as the dead were being buried...
The Israelis ordered 520 businesses to close overnight, and they remain shuttered to this day. Shuhaha Street, the main road through town, was later sealed off.
Full article here by Rich Wiles in Al Jazeera 24 Feb 2014