Thousands of settlers storm a mosque in Bethlehem

Thousands of Jewish settlers stormed Bilal bin Rabah Mosque, known by Jews as “Rachel’s Tomb” on Sunday night, and performed Talmudic rituals on the anniversary of “Rachel’s death”.

The settlers believe that the mother of prophet Yussuf, Rachel, is buried in that site.

Some 70,000 settlers are expected to visit the site over the next few days, Yediot Aharonot Hebrew newspaper revealed.

For the first time in 17 years the anniversary falls on a Saturday, which is why the pilgrimage has been spread across several days, the newspaper added.

Large forces of the occupation army were deployed in the mosque’s vicinity to provide protection for the settlers to visit the site that is isolated from the city of Bethlehem through fences and Israeli military towers.

According to historians, “Rachel’s Tomb” is a Mamluk building and an Islamic site, dome-shaped next to the Islamic cemetery in Bethlehem. The Muslims built Bilal bin Rabah Mosque on the site before being controlled by the Israeli occupation.

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