February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm
Bulldozers and machinery belonging to Israel's Jerusalem Municipality have exhumed and razed dozens of tombs in the historic Ma'man Allah Cemetery in Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have previously announced their intentions to demolish the Islamic site to make way for a number of settlement projects it intends to construct over the graves.
Palestinian sources have said that the municipality's bulldozers destroyed some one hundred tombs in the Ma'man Allah Cemetery before collecting and storing the remains in iron boxes which it loaded onto trucks and took away.
Palestinian sources also state that exhumations began during the night on Saturday, June 25, in the eastern and western parts of the cemetery near the areas Israeli authorities have earmarked to build the Jewish "Museum of Tolerance" and continued until the early hours of Sunday.
A month ago, the Israeli Magistrates Court ruled against objections to the Israeli decision to destroy hundreds of tombs in the Ma'man Allah Cemetery.
Ma'man Allah is the largest and oldest Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. Before 1948, the cemetery sat on an area of over 200 dunums, however since then and following a series of Israeli land expropriation schemes, only 24 dunums of the graveyard remains. Israel plans to implement three more projects on land belonging to the Ma'man Allah Cemetery, including the Jewish 'Museum of Tolerance', an Israeli Court Complex and a car park.