NEW YORK (JTA) — An Orthodox synagogue association wants Israel to ban Muslim worshipers from the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
The National Council of Young Israel issued the call after Israeli police launched an investigation into claims that Muslim worshipers had destroyed Jewish prayer books at the site. The cave, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, was closed temporarily to Jews last week on the day when Muslims mark the birth of the prophet Muhammad.
"If the Arab worshipers cannot be trusted to act civilly and respect the religious beliefs of others, the Israeli government needs to put its foot down and tell them to find another place to pray," said the council’s president, Shlomo Mostofsky, in a statement.
Mostofsky added that Arabs at the very least should not be allowed to enter the cave without Israeli supervision.