One Friday Morning in Occupied Palestine – The Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre 25.02.1994

It was very early in the morning when I told my mother about the dream I had the night before. I was in the sitting room of my grandparents’ house in Dheisheh refugee camp and my mother’s uncle, who had died a few months earlier, came and we had a small chat and then he asked me if I would like to go away with him. I said yes and put on my slippers and followed him. At the entrance of the house, I stumbled and lost one of my slippers. I knelt down to put in on and as I stood up, my mother’s uncle had gone and left me alone. My mother, who was this uncle’s favourite niece, looked for a minute worried but said in a calm voice that it’s good I didn’t follow him. She explained that many believe when someone follows the dead in a dream it means that person will die soon. But we didn’t talk further about it, for it was only a dream. I got ready for the university, cursing the fact that I had such an early lecture on a Friday when almost everyone else was still sleeping, and before leaving my mother told me to be careful and to take care. I got to the Jerusalem central bus station and sat in the Hebron bus. The bus was half full with students, workers and other passengers who sat waiting for it to get filled and move. From my seat I watched life go by in the central station: some people were getting into buses to go to school or work, other buses had just arrived and their passengers were leaving, some were buying a newspaper, others buying Ka’ek and Falafel and others were standing in a corner waiting for their buses to come. It wasn’t as filled as other week days, but it was busy with life: another usual day in the Jerusalem bus station. And it seemed this was going to be another usual morning in occupied Palestine, i.e. as far as “usual” goes in occupied Palestine. As I sat and waited, busy with my thoughts, there was a sudden commotion and murmur in the bus. At first, I thought it’s probably some of the passengers complaining about the bus taking so long to get on the move, but as I looked around me, I saw everyone looking out of the windows. I had been so immersed in my thoughts that I hadn’t noticed the commotion in the station although I had been watching the people. Outside the bus, people were walking quickly, some were running, others were waving with their hands, talking loud, but it was difficult to understand what they were talking about. The bus driver, who had been standing near the bus, came in and said in a calm voice that there had just been another massacre, this time in the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. For a few minutes there was complete silence in the bus. I suppose most of us were thinking: till when? Will there ever be justice for us in this damned world? Then some started asking about what details he had, which wasn’t much, and when the bus driver turned on the radio, we all went quiet. Not much was said about the massacre, it was after all the Israeli radio, but it was confirmed: people have been “killed” in the Ibrahimi mosque, massacred or butchered being the right word. More people got on the bus and everyone was talking about the massacre. There was anger, much anger, there was bewilderment, there was sadness, and there was defiance. I didn’t know the people on the bus, but in that moment we were all one: We were all Palestinians, it was our shared pain and our shared destiny.

As the bus made its way to Bethlehem, throughout this seemingly extremely long trip, we saw Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances from Jerusalem and Ramallah rushing towards Hebron, the scream of their sirens breaking the silence of the morning and shaking everyone it passed. It was becoming clear to everyone that this was going to be another “Palestinian day”; where Palestinian blood would be shed by the Zionist entity. We didn’t know all the details yet. All what was known to us by the time was that a Zionist colonist had killed several Palestinian worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque, and if you think that is macabre enough, let me tell you that this was only the beginning of what happened on that Friday morning in occupied Palestine.

When the bus finally reached Bethlehem, I got off at my usual stop and walked up the road to the university. It was still early but I could see many people gathered everywhere. The main Jerusalem-Hebron road was filled with people. At the university, everyone was talking about the massacre and friends and fellow students were gathered at the main entrance. Anger and pain were drawn on the faces. There were calls to go to the Al-Hussein hospital, which was just down the road, and donate blood. It seemed as if everyone in Bethlehem and the area, including ambulances from everywhere, was heading towards the hospital. A group of us were going down the road as well, when someone came running and said that the Israeli soldiers were everywhere; blocking the main road and surrounding the hospital. From where we stood, we could see what was going on down on the main road and around the hospital. The soldiers were shooting in all directions and at everyone. It was like a warzone. Some soldiers were trying to stop the ambulances and the private cars transporting the wounded from reaching the hospital, others were shooting randomly at people in the street and around the hospital, snipers were on roof of houses and were shooting to kill. It was obvious that they intended for this to be a wide-scale massacre. And standing there at the top of the road, you could see it all. There was no time to think of one self, of one’s safety, we were all one; from Hebron to Jerusalem, from Nablus to Gaza, from Bethlehem to Jenin, from Nazareth to Rafah. It was our blood that had been spilt that morning in the Ibrahimi, it was our brothers, our fathers, our friends who were butchered by the Zionists that morning. And standing there, you could see that red flash of the bullets when shot, for now they were shooting in our direction as well. In return, stones started flowing at the occupier, at the soldiers who had come to kill people who were donating blood, people who were mourning. It was a real battle, and the whole area turned into a battle field. And when the soldiers saw that they with their sophisticated weapons were losing against students armed with tiny stones and with the love of Palestine and freedom, they came with their jeeps up the roads towards us. Some made it in time into the campus before the main door was closed, others ran towards the alleys of the old city of Bethlehem trying to escape the Israeli soldiers who came chasing. I don’t know how long the chase lasted, you lose feel of time in such situations. And as fully-armed Zionist occupation soldiers chased unarmed Palestinian students, Palestinian homes everywhere opened their doors to embrace these students and protect them. I said it at the time, and I want to take the chance to say it again today: Thank You! During the chase, a curfew was imposed on the city, but we didn’t hear the soldiers announcing it and only knew about it while in the safety of Palestinian homes. The Israeli army knew that many would not have heard the calls for a curfew, and thus shooting more Palestinians would have been justified with the “breaking the curfew” excuse.

That morning in February, Palestine embraced 29 of its children to its bosom and was to embrace yet more by the end of the day.

It was a Friday in the month of Ramadan, so hundreds of Palestinians had gone to the Ibrahimi mosque for the dawn prayer. At around 5 am, and as the worshippers were kneeling in prayer, Zionist colonist Baruch Goldstein, a leader of the fanatic terror movement Kach, who was hiding behind one of the pillar, started shooting randomly at the worshippers. He was also armoured with a number of hand grenades which he threw amongst the dying and the wounded. The shooting lasted 10 minutes during which 29 worshippers were massacred, including many children, and over 300 were wounded, leaving some handicapped for life. Goldstein would have gone on with his butchering were it not for a group of young men who were finally able to subdue him. During this time, and despite the sounds of shooting coming from the mosque, the IOF soldiers stationed outside did not intervene to stop the massacre, instead they locked up the doors of the mosque and prevented worshippers from escaping. Palestinians who had heard the shooting and came running towards the mosque testify that the Israeli soldiers knew what was going on inside it but did nothing to stop it. On the contrary, when Hebron residents tried to enter the mosque yard to help the wounded inside, the soldiers started shooting at them. Only when the shooting inside the mosque stopped did the IOF soldiers, together with more Zionist colonists, enter the mosque, and this only to “finish” Goldstein’s job, for the first thing they did was shoot dead the group of men who had subdued the terrorist. In the meantime, the soldiers surrounding the mosque continued shooting at everyone who came closer to the site, including the ambulances that had rushed to the area. Nidal Maraka, 15 years old, testified that: “When I heard the gun shots, I was scared and I fell on the floor. I looked around and saw my brother, Kifah (11), bleeding. He suffered multiple wounds to the head and neck. I went to tell my father but found him bleeding too from his wounds. Then my little brother Jihad (9) came to me and told me that he was scared and wanted to hide near the Imam [all the way in the front.] I encouraged him to do that…. As I was leaving the [main hall] near the shelves where people put their shoes, I saw my classmate, Jabr Abu Hadeed. Jabr [11 years old] was holding his waist…. I saw him as he was collapsing on the floor. There was nothing that I could do for him. A man and I tried to save Jabr and to take him outside. But as we arrived at the main gate, a soldier hit the man with the butt of the gun on the back. The man fell on the ground. I tried to help Jabr but the soldier hit me too on my back…. I tried to escape from Ein el Hamra gate but found it closed.  When I returned to look for another exist I saw a settler [description…] filling a magazine of a gun… After I managed to escape out, I met with my brother Jihad who told me that my father left the area…. Later I knew that my brother died…. On the next day, I learned that my schoolmate, Jabr was dead too.”[1]

The massacre didn’t finish there. The Zionists were still thirsty for Palestinian blood and contrary to the later claims of the Zionist government that it “felt sorry” for the massacre, the Israeli army was obviously given orders to reply harshly to any acts of protest. And so it was; the soldiers followed the wounded right to the hospitals in Hebron and Bethlehem in a hunt for those worshippers who had survived. It seems they didn’t want any witnesses, any one left alive to contradict the lie the Zionist government was preparing as an “explanation” for the massacre. They wanted everyone who saw what had happened inside the mosque dead. “According to a taxi driver, Ashraf Mitzab, who transported some of the wounded, Palestinians were wounded by both the settler and soldiers. “People tried to run away but soldiers came into the mosque and used tear gas at the entrance and also opened fire at people. It was impossible to tell who was shot by the settler and who by the soldiers. It all happened at the same time. “The army forbade anyone to come or leave. My car was shot at as I was leaving the area. Also an Israeli guard at the Dabboyya building at the centre of Hebron shot at us. When I left, helicopters were spraying gas over the whole city. My car and ambulance which was travelling behind me were stopped at the checkpoint Beit Ummar.”[2]

In Hebron, the Israeli army surrounded Al-Ahli hospital and occupied the roofs of the houses around it. People had gathered from all over the city and the surroundings to inquire about family members and friends, many came to donate blood, others wanted to assist in any way possible. Pharmacies of the city collected whatever medicines and bandages and oxygen canisters they had and brought them to the hospital. Israeli helicopters were hovering over the area and tear gas was fired at the crowds gathering in front of the hospital. . The Israeli army called for reinforcement to fight the army of wounded and was shooting extensively as if in a battlefield. And it wasn’t only the wounded worshippers brought to the hospital on stretchers who were the target of the Zionist snipers, but also the medics who were trying to save peoples’ lives and those who had come to donate blood. One example is ‘Arafat Al-Bayid, father of 3, who was killed at the entrance to Al-Ahli hospital after he had donated blood. Witnesses and medics reported that the Israeli army prevented medics from reaching the wounded and prevented the wounded from reaching the hospital which caused some to bleed to death and others were shot while transporting the wounded. Most of the injuries were caused by high velocity bullets. The director of Al-Ahli hospital, Mahmoud At-Tamimi, recalled: “After treating the dead and the wounded and extracting the bullets, we found different types of bullets. Some bullets were shot from Uzi machine gun and other bullets including the dumdum were shot from other types of guns. There were also other wounds resulted from splinters which confirmed the testimonies of people that hand grenades were used … According to [forensic] medicine, 1 in 15 people get killed in cases similar to this one. But in this massacre the ratio was 1 to 6. This significantly higher ratio indicates that the people were barraged with too much gun fire and there was delay in our attempt to rescue them due to the blockades … Ambulances that came from the adjacent villages of Halhol and Beit Ummar to assist were also delayed by the Israeli army blockades … The army provoked residents who came to donate blood or assist… A young man who just donated blood left the hospital and he was returned to it shortly after the Israeli soldiers shot him dead. They brought him back without the upper part of his skull… Four of the people who donated blood were later killed by the soldiers in the vicinity of the hospital.”[3] Because there were so many wounded, they had to be transferred to at least 6 hospitals in the area, including Al-Hussein, Al-Maqasid and Ramallah hospitals. But the Zionist forces followed them even there, as was the case with Al-Hussein hospital in Beit Jala. More Palestinians were killed by the IOF during the rush burial of some martyrs. ‘Atiyah Mohammad As-Salaymeh, father of 5, was killed while burying one of the martyrs. He was shot by a Zionist sniper and fell right over the body of the martyr he was burying. Both martyrs were buried in the same grave.

The massacre went on and more Palestinians fell with every passing hour. The soldiers used their live ammunition to the fullest against the protesters who took to the streets in the hundreds to protest the massacre. The result was that by the end of that Friday the terrorist Goldstein, together with his fellow terrorist colonists and the terrorist IOF soldiers had killed over 60 Palestinians and wounded hundreds.

That day, and in the usual Zionist way of “explaining” Zionist terror acts, the terrorist Goldstein was declared “mentally deranged” and thus following the Zionist tradition of covering up murderers, terrorists and war criminals by declaring them “unstable”, such as with the Australian-Zionist terrorist Denis Rohan who on 21.08.1969 set parts of Al-Aqsa mosque on fire in an attempt to burn it down, or the American-Zionist IOF terrorist Alan Goodman who during an attempt to blow up Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock on 11.04.1982 killed at least 3 Palestinians in the Holy Sanctuary, and many other “all-of-a-sudden-declared-deranged” terrorists. The Israeli government’s official “story” of “such regrettable incidents” being the act of a “mentally deranged” individual is a futile effort to hide the obvious: that this and all other massacres committed against the Palestinian people are nothing but state terror funded and carried out by the Zionist entity. Facts on the ground and testimonies of those who survived the massacres at the mosque, at the hospitals and in the streets relate another story:

1 According to several reports, the terrorist Benjamin Goldstein, an American doctor from Brooklyn, was known as a racist and Arab-hater since an early age. He changed his name to Baruch and in 1982 joined the fanatic terror group Kach of Maier Kahana. In 1983 he came to occupied Palestine and lived in the illegal colony Kiryat Arba’, home to some of the most fanatic Zionist colonists. Goldstein, who was later labelled “mentally deranged”, served in the Israeli terror army and was wearing an Israeli military uniform when he committed the massacre. On that morning in February, Goldstein, well-known to everyone including the IOF as being fanatic, made his way towards the Ibrahimi mosque heavily armed with automatic machine guns, several bullet magazines and hand grenades. He passed at least two IOF army checkpoints on the way to the Ibrahimi and was allowed to enter a mosque filled with unarmed worshippers. Eyewitness Muhammad Sari recalled that “the muezzin announced the beginning of the prayer, so we knelt and made the first prostration. Then all of a sudden we heard the sound of heavy gun fire coming from behind us. When I turned around in the direction of the sound, I saw a soldier in full uniform. He had put ear pieces in his ears, and he was holding a rapid-firing machine gun and firing in the direction of the worshippers.”[4] Another witness, S.A., 18 years, said: “I stood with my friends and brother and then we started praying and the shooting started. I looked to my right and to my left and saw everyone bleeding and when I looked around me (I saw) my best friend was dead and his eyes and mouth were open. I looked before me and saw my other friend bleeding heavily from the head … I tried escaping from this hell and tried to help one of the wounded but he was dead as well.”[5] Farhan Hussein Al-Ja’bari, 7 years old, recalled how he and his brother Sari were scared and started crying when they saw the dead and bleeding worshippers. And when they searched for their father, they found him dead with his head riddled with bullets.[6]

2 Eyewitnesses testified that the Israeli soldiers present inside the mosque assisted Goldstein in committing the massacre. The doors of the main prayer hall were locked from the outside, which was never the case before during prayer and the section between the prayer hall and the administrative section (where the telephone is) was also closed off, which meant that the worshippers had no access to the telephone to call for medics. Also, witnesses testified that Goldstein was standing behind the last row of worshippers in the prayer hall, which means he was standing between the soldiers and the worshippers, thus the Israeli soldiers would have had no difficulty at all in subduing him if they wanted, which they never did. Mohammad Abu Al-Halawah who was shot during the massacre leaving him crippled, recalled that when the shooting started, several worshippers ran towards the main door to find it locked up despite the fact that this door is never locked up during prayer, and when the worshippers locked up inside the mosque started shouting out for help, the Palestinians outside were prevented by the IOF from coming to their rescue.[7] One witness, Sharif Barakat Zahdeh, 27 years old, recalls that “he and his brother (martyr Sufian Zahdeh, 21 yrs old), who was killed in the massacre, arrived late to the mosque and had to sit in the last row of worshipers. He heard two persons speaking behind him in Hebrew saying, “This is their end. …. We later knelt in our prayer, I heard showers of gunfire. I looked next to me and I found my brother dead from bullets in his head. When the shots stopped, I saw people beating a soldier (Goldstein in his uniform). I saw a little 12 year-old child wounded and I tried to spare his life. I tried to carry the boy to the outside but an Israeli soldier stopped me and forced me to return to the inside. I tried another way out in the meantime I saw 4-5 settlers with civilian uniforms in a small room. I managed to escape with the boy to the outside but he died. Only in the hospital, I realized that I, too, was wounded in the chest area.”[8]

3 Eyewitnesses who heard the shooting and came running to the mosque to help the worshippers locked up inside and being butchered reported that the sound of shooting inside the mosque reached those outside, nonetheless the Israeli soldiers refused to let anyone in to help and ignored the calls of help and demands to open the door coming from inside the mosque. Instead, the Israeli soldiers stationed outside the mosque threw tear gas grenades at the people and ambulances approaching the mosque and shot at them killing at least 3 Palestinians. Hatim Quffeisheh recalled: “At 5:20 a.m. today everyone was standing up [in the mosque]. As I took off my shoes, I saw an old man wearing military clothes who was running along carrying a huge weapon loaded with ammunition. I was surprised to see him come into the mosque during the prayer. He opened fire, and I ran away and asked the soldier who guards the area to intervene. But all he did was beat me up, then I left the mosque area.”[9] Muhammad Sulayman Abu Salih described the massacre: “The terrorist was trying to kill as many people as possible. The corpses were scattered all over, spattering the floor of the mosque with blood. Worshippers who had been prostrate tried to flee in terror, and some of them fell on the floor…. I shouted at the top of my lungs to the soldiers to come and stop him, but all they did was run away. The armed man reloaded his rifle at least once and killed at least seven people at one time, the contents of their skulls scattering all over the floor. He kept on shooting for ten minutes, and the army didn’t step in until the massacre was over.”[10] The Imam of the Ibrahimi mosque, Sheikh Ibrahim Abdeen, recalled that “the bullets were coming from several places, that it was a true blood bath. The Israeli soldiers’ reaction was very slow; they actually delayed the arrival of the ambulances.”[11]

4 Eyewitnesses who were inside the mosque reported that after Goldstein was subdued and the shooting stopped, Israeli soldiers and Zionist colonists entered the mosque and started shooting at those inside, killing all the men who were surrounding Goldstein. Nadir Al-Ja’bari, 20 years old, recalled how bullets were showering at the worshippers from three sources in the mosque and how four worshippers tried to escape the mosque but the Israeli soldiers shot at them. When he finally escaped, Al-Ja’bari saw the soldiers outside shooting at everyone; including the wounded and the medics.[12] Juwayyed Hasan Al-Ja’bari, 31 years old, recalls: “A few seconds after we started the prayers, I heard the sound of a big explosion which was followed by showers of gun shots. I was in the first row and was not [physically] injured from the incident. There were more than 200 worshippers in the mosque at that time…. I could not see the criminal because he was hiding behind a beam… One of the young people approached the soldiers yelling (God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest) and a soldier aimed at him and shot him in the chest…. Minutes later hundreds of people arrived in the mosque to help the wounded but the soldiers refused to let them in and shot at them.”[13]

5 some eyewitnesses report of at least three Zionist terrorist, including Goldstein, committing the initial massacre at the Ibrahimi mosque, in addition to the Israeli soldiers who assisted first by locking up the doors during the massacre, then shooting at those still alive after Goldstein was dead. Also, other fanatic Zionists from Kiryat Arba were allowed into the mosque to finish the job of Goldstein and others were outside shooting at approaching Palestinians. Talal Abu Sneineh, who was shot in both shoulders, testified: “I saw a settler hiding behind one of the pillars in the mosque’ as he fired on the worshippers with his rifle. Another [Jewish] settler stood beside him loading a second rifle so that it would be ready to go to work next.”[14] Harbi Abu Sbeih, 26 years old, testified that: “As we started the prayer, I heard screaming in Hebrew saying ‘This is their end.’ After that I heard showers of machine gun shots…. People were falling on the floor because of their wounds or because they were killed. The fact that some people suffered wounds from dumdum bullets while others were wounded from regular bullets made me believe that there were more than one assailant. And it was no coincident that the electricity was partially shot off on the mosque that night.”[15]

One important fact, that is rarely mentioned, is that according to several eyewitness reports a wide-scale massacre was planned in several Hebron mosques by Zionist colonists and with the assistance of the Israeli army. Actually, it all started the night before, when the Israeli soldiers and colonists present at the mosque prevented Palestinians worshippers from entering it for the night prayer. Then the worshippers were allowed in, to be asked again to leave and some were even beaten by the soldiers so they leave the mosque. It seems the original plan was to attack several mosques simultaneously, but because it was Ramadan and most worshippers preferred to pray in the Ibrahimi, the plan was not fully pursued. Mohammad Ibrahim Gheith, 18 years old, was the very first victim of that terrorist plan. He had gone to the Khaled Bin El-Walid mosque to pray there that morning and was shot by a Zionist colonist in the chest. And while Mohammad was being operated in hospital, the victims of the Ibrahimi massacre started arriving. “Mohammad said that the settler who shot at him did not have facial hair, i.e. he was not Goldstein. This affirmed the conclusion of the Palestinians that more than one person committed the massacre and that the plan was originally to attack several mosques in the city. But the small number of Arabs in that mosque did not appeal to the settlers or justified an attack.”[16] As previously mentioned, that morning and contrary to every other day, only 3 to 4 Israeli soldiers were present at the mosque, which many Palestinian worshippers found strange. It can be concluded that at first there were fewer soldiers present to give Goldstein and his fellow terrorists the chance to enter the mosque and commit their massacre, but as the massacre began some 20 to 30 soldiers arrived, accompanied by more colonists, and started shooting at those trying to leave the mosque and those coming to the rescue. Karem Al-Joulani, 20 years old, recalled: “That night we went to the mosque as usual. The soldiers in the night before delayed our prayers for two hours claiming that the settlers were not done from their praying. In the dawns of Friday we normally saw 20-25 soldiers securing the gates of the mosque…. They usually strictly searched us. But this Friday [of the massacre] was different as there were only three soldiers on the gate and they did not search us…. I joined the prayers and managed to get a position in the middle rows…. But as soon as we started praying I heard shots fired at the people and saw people running away from all directions…. I lost consciousness as I suffered a wound to the thigh.”[17] Muhannad Mohammad Abu Aishah, 16 years old, related that: “As we started praying we heard some people talking in Hebrew. I did not know what it was. But moments after the prayer started I heard gun shots. I looked around and saw settlers and soldiers escaping from [the main hall.] At that point I heard  the shooting stopped… The soldiers participated in the shooting. I saw them, in my own eyes, shooting at people including the wounded near the gate of the mosque…. The job of the soldiers was always protecting settlers.”[18]

The Israeli occupation army and the fanatic colonists of Kiryat Arba’ were direct partners in the “act of a deranged individual” as the Israeli government termed this full-scale massacre. They participated in the massacring of Palestinian civilians that day. The Zionist entity claimed it “condemned” the “attack”, “regretted” it and that it was “shocked” at what happened, when in fact it finances and encourages such fanatics, builds illegal colonies for them on stolen Palestinian land, arms them and gives them green light to kill Palestinians. But if it really “regretted” and “condemned” such acts of terror, which it doesn’t, why didn’t it confiscate the arms of fanatic colonists? Why didn’t it keep its army away from Hebron and from Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps? They knew there would be popular rage, why didn’t they order their army to stay away? Simple: because this is an entity built on terror and feeds on terror, because they didn’t “regret” the massacre and because the plan had always been, and still is, to kill as many Palestinians as possible. Goldstein was a well-known fanatic, nevertheless the Zionist government that claims it “regretted the attack” allowed him to give religious advice to Israeli prisoners. He was also allowed to give speeches which mainly concentrated on the “demographic threat to the Zionist entity” and that the transfer of the Palestinians, even by force, is the only solution to this threat. In a theatrical move directed mainly at the western “audience”, the Israeli government banned “Kach”, but in reality members of this terrorist movement are very much active with the full support of the Zionist entity. One example is the terrorist Baruch Marzel who was head of the secretariat of Kach and later became the leader of the terrorist “Jewish National Front” which is responsible for many terrorist attacks on Palestinians in occupied Palestine. This “outlawed” terrorist movement “celebrates” every year the butchering of Palestinians and this under the eyes and ears and with the support and approval of the Israeli government.

In fact, what the Zionist government did in the aftermath of the massacre only shows how much this entity wants “peace”, for after such a horrific massacre of innocent worshippers in a house of God, it was the victims who were blamed for their murder and it was the families of the victims, i.e. the Palestinian population of Hebron, who were punished and are still being punished for the terrorist act of Zionist colonist. And as if the massacre and the daily Zionist terror were not enough, Palestinian Hebronites were punished with extended curfews, mass arrests and a siege. Then, the Zionist entity played the usual charade of setting an “investigation committee”, the Shamgar Committee”, which was comprised mostly of Zionists. Thus, it was no surprise at all when the committee announced the results of its “investigations” in which it blamed the victims for the massacre and punished them. The Ibrahimi mosque was closed in the face of Palestinians worshippers for months, and when it was finally reopened it was divided between the Palestinians and the fanatic Zionists who got the control over the larger part of the mosque and Judaized it. And since then, the number of Palestinian worshippers allowed into the mosque is determined by the IOF; they decide who enters, how many and when, while fanatic Zionists can enter and leave the mosque as they wish and when they wish. On Jewish holidays, the Ibrahimi is closed to Muslims and the Zionists have the right to use the whole mosque. Jamil Is-Skafi, who was shot during the massacre in the knee, thigh and pelvis, recalled: we were praying on Friday in the Ibrahimi mosque, and I was praying in the row before last, and suddenly I heard intensive gunshots followed by three explosions which probably were hand grenades, and followed again by intensive shooting inside the mosque. Many were martyred and many injured. … I found myself in a car. I looked at the back of the cabin and saw three martyrs. I didn’t recognize them because they were in pieces. … When the shooting started I felt I was living in a foreign film, and we the worshippers were in a battlefield and everyone was shooting at us without mercy. So I asked God for martyrdom and my friend Nimir Mujahid got it. … I expected that the colonists will be kicked out of the heart of Hebron after the massacre, but instead the “Shamgar” Committee gave them the mosque and the city, and so the mosque and Hebron were divided, as if nothing had happened or as if we were the one who committed the massacre.”[19]

And the Zionist terrorist who committed the massacre got a memorial.

And the government that allegedly “condemned” the killing gave its approval for a funeral for the killer, keeping in mind that Palestinians had been killed by the IOF while burying their martyrs. And a Zionist terrorist got a hero’s funeral attended by many Zionist personalities and thousands of Zionist colonists. During the funeral, calls from Zionist colonists were made for similar massacres and the posters of the killer decorated the walls of west Jerusalem neighbourhoods. At the eulogy of Goldstein, speakers referred to the fact that throughout his career, Goldstein refused to treat any wounded Arab or non-Jew. “Rabbi Yisrael Ariel Goldstein described Goldstein as a person who is having a higher status than the saints. He described him as a “Royal Martyr” who was “Listening to the cry of the stolen Land [complaining] from the Ishmaelites [Arabs] every day. And he did [something] to alleviate that cry.” The Rabbi summarized his statement by saying that “It is not peace agreements which recover lands, it is blood that recovers lands.” Another speaker in the eulogy said that “The People of Israel were sick and Goldstein gave us the medication.”[20] This killer is still considered a hero and even a holy man by the fanatic Zionist colonists occupying Palestine and his death is being commemorated yearly.

This week, in a further step to Judaize the Ibrahimi mosque, the Israeli government decided to annex it – together with the Bilal Ibn Rabah mosque – and add both to its list of so-called “Israeli Heritage Sites”. Zionist colonists, aka terrorists, continue to live in the heart of Hebron in usurped Palestinian homes, on usurped Palestinian land. They continue their attacks on Hebron and its indigenous population, and are given the full control over the old city and its surroundings, including the Ibrahimi mosque. Complete areas, neighbourhoods and streets are off limit to the Palestinians, and the homes of Palestinians in these areas stand empty waiting for their owners to return. And despite the terrorism of the Zionist entity and its army and colonists against the people of Hebron in an effort to ethnically cleanse the city, the Hebronites will remain steadfast in their city, and those who were kicked out of their homes will return one day because the homes, the streets, the neighbourhoods and the alleys of Hebron have one owner: the Palestinian people.

That day, it was dark when I reached home. My parents were following the news of the massacre and the protests all over occupied Palestine on TV. We didn’t talk much, I told them in a few words about my day and except for the usual: are you alright? Yes, I am fine, nothing much was said. But I could see that they were relieved that I was fine. They saw that I was very tired and asked if I wanted something to eat, I hadn’t eaten a thing the whole day, but I was too tired and said I just wanted to go and sleep. As I went to bed, I could hear the news on TV talking about the massacre. I was very tired, but the last thought on my mind before drowning in sleep was: We will have justice. The world has heard about the massacre, about how the Zionists treat us, and has heard our message of protest against the occupation and the oppression. We will get justice. Today, 16 years after the massacre, Palestine is still occupied by Zionist terrorists, Palestinians in Hebron and in all occupied Palestine are still the target of Zionist terrorism, and Zionists still spread terror throughout occupied Palestine and beyond. And 16 years later, we are still protesting the Israeli occupation and oppression, we are still steadfast in our land, we are still waiting for justice.

Lest We Forget: The Martyrs of 25.02.1994 (
1 Ra’id Abdel-Muttalib Hasan An-Natsheh (20 yrs old)
2 ‘Ala’ Badir Abdel-Halim Taha Abu Sneneh (17 yrs old)
3 Marwan Mutlaq Hamid Abu Nijmeh (32 yrs old), father of 6
4 Thiab Abdel-Latif Hirbawi Al-Karaki (24 yrs old)
5 Khalid Khalawi Abu Hussein Abu Sneineh (58 yrs old), father of 8
6 Nuriddin Ibrahim Abdel-Muhtasib (22 yrs old)
7 Mohammad Kifah Abdel-‘Iz Zakariya Maraqa (11 yrs old)
8 Mahmoud Sadiq Mohammad Abu Za’nouneh (49 yrs old), father of 4
9 Sabir Mousa Husni Katbeh Bdeir (37 yrs old), father of 4
10 Nimir Mohammad Nimir Mujahid (34 yrs old), father of 4
11 Kamal Jamal Abdel-Ghani Quffeshah (13 yrs old)
12 ‘Arafat Mousa Yousif Burqan (28 yrs old), father of 4
13 Raji-Izzen Abdel-Khaliq Gheith (47 yrs old)
14 Walid Zuheir Mahfouth Abu Hamdiyyeh (13 yrs old)
15 Sufian Barakat ‘Ouf Zahdeh (21 yrs old)
16 Jamil ‘Ayid Abdel-Fattah An-Natsheh (48 yrs old), supporter of 13
17 Abdel-Haq Ibrahim Abdel-Haq Al-Ja’bari (55), supporter of 13
18 Salman ‘Awwad ‘Ilyan Al-Ja’bari (37 yrs old), father of 10
19 Tariq ‘Adnan Mahmoud ‘Ashour Abu Sneineh (14 yrs old)
20 Abdel-Rahim Abdel-Rahman Salameh (48 yrs old), supporter of 13
21 Jabir ‘Arif Abu Hadid Abu Sneineh (11 yrs old)
22 Hatim Khadir Nimir Al-Fakhouri (26 yrs old), father of 2
23 Salim Idris Falah Idris (27 yrs old), father of 2
24 Rami ‘Arafat Ali Ar-Rajabi (11 yrs old)
25 Khalid Mohammad Hamzah Abdel-Rahman Al-Karaki (18 yrs old)
26 Wa’il Salah Ya’coub Al-Muhtasib (28 yrs old), father of 3
27 Zidan Hamoudeh Abdel-Majid Hamid (26 yrs old), father of 4
28 Ahmad Abdallah Mohammad Taha Abu Sneineh (25 yrs old)
29 Talal Mohammad Daoud Mahmoud Dandies (26 yrs old), his wife was pregnant
30 ‘Atiyah Mohammad ‘Atiyah As-Salaymeh (33 yrs old), father of 5
31 Ismail Faiz Ismail Quffesheh (28 yrs old), father of 1 and his wife was pregnant
32 Nadir Salam Salih Zahdeh (19 yrs old)
33 Ayman Ayyoub Mohammad Al-Qawasmi (21 yrs old)
34 ‘Arafat Mahmoud Ahmad Al-Bayid (28 yrs old), father of 3
35 Abdel Rahim Abu Sneineh
36 Akram Kafisheh
37 Akram Joulani
38 Amjad Abdallah Sandal
39 Ayed Abu Hadid
40 Diab Muhtasab
41 Fawaz Zughair
42 Hamad Abu Nijmeh
43 Iyad Karaki
44 Khairi Aref Abu Hadid
45 Kifah Abdul Mu’az Marakeh
46 Marwan Abu Shareh
47 Raji Arafat Rajabi
48 Tariq Abdeen
49 Yasser Diab Kafisheh
50 Yazen Abdul Mu’ti Marakah
51 Yusef Hroub
52 Zeidan Jabber
53 Zein Gheith
54 Ziad Kafisheh
55 Mohammed Yusef Ghayatheh, shot by a Zionist colonist near Beit Jala hospital, Bethlehem
57 Mohammad Danaf (20 yrs old), from Sheikh Radwan, Gaza, shot dead by the IOF
58 Fadl Kernawi (16 yrs old), from Bureij RC, Gaza, shot dead by the IOF
59 Mohammad Yusef Abed Abdu (20 yrs old), from Bureij RC, Gaza, shot dead by the IOF

Some of the Zionist war criminals responsible for the massacres of 25.02.1994 include:
Baruch Goldstein: Zionist colonist, member of the terrorist Kach movement, reserve captain in the Israeli army.
Colonel Ronin Rafif: IOF, military commander at the Ibrahimi mosque.
Ben Benjamin: IOF, in charge of security at the main entrance to the mosque.
Kobi Ben Yousif: IOF, in charge of security at the eastern entrance of the mosque, participated in the shooting
Fev Dori: IOF, Guard at the eastern entrance to the mosque, participated in the shooting
Major Dob Satelmann: IOF, military commander of the Ibrahimi mosque area
Colonel Ma’el Klegi: IOF, military commander of the Hebron area at the time
Ehud Barak: IOF chief of staff at the time.
Yitzhak Rabin: Israeli prime minister at the time.


[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid.


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