Israelis destroying historic Muslim cemetery to build a park


Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

A few metres away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s eastern walls lies the centuries-old Al-Yousufiya Cemetery, also known as the Bab al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate) Cemetery.

Over the past few weeks, videos and images of Palestinians clinging to their family members’ graves as Israeli forces arrest, beat, and attempt to forcibly pull them away have widely circulated on social media.

Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem have been moving ahead with plans to build a Jewish “national park” set to open in mid-2022 over parts of the cemetery, which spans more than 14 dunams (1.4 hectares) of land.

Three weeks ago, workers from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority exposed human remains during excavations, causing outrage and unleashing continuous protests and prayers at the site.

Since then, Palestinians have been increasing their presence at the graveyard, including those going to protect their dead, and confronting Israeli forces, which responded with tear gas, stun grenades, physical beatings, arrests, temporary bans on individuals from visiting the cemetery.

People may debate whether the Israeli forces are committing a sin or a crime. No matter what you call this, it must stop. Since the political clown show in Washington is the major prop to the Israeli government, communicating rejection of this ongoing desecration to our own elected officials is worth doing. If for nothing else – a call for justice.

One thought on “Israelis destroying historic Muslim cemetery to build a park

  1. Update says:

    “Hundreds of far-right Jewish nationalists have entered Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, ahead of a provocative flag march that could re-ignite confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians.
    Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of a small ultranationalist opposition party in the Knesset, entered the compound early on Sunday, along with dozens of supporters. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/29/settlers-storm-al-aqsa-compound-ahead-of-israeli-flag-march
    Jewish worship is not permitted in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israeli law, and it is also forbidden by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. However, some far-right Israelis believe that they should be allowed to pray in an effort to upend the delicate status quo.
    Palestinians fear that their sovereignty over the compound is being eroded amid calls by far-right Israelis for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to be replaced with a Jewish temple.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/29/settlers-storm-al-aqsa-compound-ahead-of-israeli-flag-march
    Some 3,000 Israeli police have been deployed throughout the city ahead of the march, which will begin at 4pm local time (1300 GMT) and is expected to end at 10pm (1900 GMT).

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