Orthodox Jews, Moslems Worship in Same Mosque in West Bank Town of Hebron

Orthodox Jews and pious Moslems worshipped simultaneously in the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron yesterday. The mosque, over the site of the Patriarchs’ Tombs, was the scene of Yom Kippur services conducted by the Jewish settlers of Hebron and guests. The services were attended by Col. Ofer Ben David, military governor of the area, and by Israeli soldiers on duty in the town.

The Jews used a small hall adjoining the main sanctuary of the mosque, which was occupied by Moslems who held five daily prayer meetings as usual. No incidents were reported, although the use of the mosque compound by the Jewish settlers had engendered hostility and protests from Moslem religious authorities before the holidays.

In Israel, the Western Wall in Old Jerusalem was the scene of public worship on a large scale. Crowds estimated in the tens of thousands congregated at the site. The Red Mogen David, Israel’s Red Cross, reported that 78 persons fainted in the crowd. When the fast ended, the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva distributed cookies and soft drinks to the worshippers. Synagogues were full and streets empty except for an occasional ambulance or United Nations car. Comparatively mild weather with temperatures in the upper 70s made the fast easier than in some past years.

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