Israel razes Muslim graves in East Jerusalem cemetery

Israel seeks to transform ancient cemetery into ‘national park’ for Jews, Palestinian official asserts

Israel razes Muslim graves in East Jerusalem cemetery

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished several graves in occupied East Jerusalem's historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to a Palestinian official. 

"Personnel from the so-called ‘Israeli Nature Authority’ -- backed by large numbers of Israeli forces -- stormed the historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery and knocked down eight graves," Mustafa Abu Zahra, head of the committee for the preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem, said. 

"Israel wants to transform the cemetery into a national park for Israeli Jews," he said. 

Bab al-Rahmeh is a Muslim cemetery that dates back more than 1,400 years. It is considered one of East Jerusalem's most important Islamic historical sites. 

Sheikh Omar al-Qiswani, the Al-Aqsa Mosque's Palestinian director, denounced ongoing Israeli violations against Muslim sites in East Jerusalem. 

"Israel claims the graves are situated on land owned by the Israeli Nature Authority," al-Qiswani said. 

"But Israel has no historical -- or legal -- basis on which to claim any right to the cemetery," he said. "The site is an Islamic Waqf [endowment], and will remain so." 

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It formally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital -- a move never recognized by the international community. 

Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2016, 15:46
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