Hebron Settlers in Dispute with Arabs over Right to Pray at Patriarch’s Tomb

A conflict has developed between the Moslem religious authorities in Hebron and a group of Orthodox Jewish settlers who have demanded permission to hold Yom Kippur prayers at the Patriarchs’ Tomb, which is now covered by a mosque. The settlers have appealed to Minister of Justice Yacov S. Shapiro, acting Minister for Religious Affairs while Dr. Zerach Warhaftig is abroad. Mr. Shapiro was to meet with Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan today and their joint decision on the matter will be binding. The Moslem Waqf, which holds authority over Moslem shrines in Hebron, has objected to the Yom Kippur prayers. They said that under their agreement with the military governor, Jews are allowed to visit the Patriarchs’ Tomb only at specified hours.

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