Me’aras Hamachpelah was closed to Jews on Friday, giving Muslims full run of the site as they celebrated the end of Ramadan – and on Motzoei Shabbos, Jews who returned to the site discovered that a mezuzah hung on the doorposts to one of the prayer halls used by Jews had been desecrated. Jews who discovered the desecration filed a complaint with the authorities. Officials said that an investigation was underway.
This is not the first time Muslims have taken advantage of their celebrations to vandalize the Jewish presence at the site. Two years ago, Muslims destroyed a large mezuzah that had been hung at the main gate of the me’arah. They also broke into a storage room and stole plants that were to be planted at the site. The plants were worth thousands of shekels.
In a statement, the Me’aras Hamachpelah administration said that it “trusts Israeli security forces to do everything necessary to bring these vandals to justice and prevent such events from recurring. Despite the actions of these accursed vandals, we will continue to deepen the Jewish connection to this holy place.”