Officers of Israel’s Nature And Parks Authority (INPA) reportedly resumed excavation work yesterday at the Palestinian Bab Al-Rahma cemetery, just outside the walls of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Wafa news agency.
Wafa reported that INPA staff began digging up graves and land in the cemetery around 20 days ago. Officials returned yesterday to continue digging, which Wafa noted was in order to build “a national [Israeli] park on parts of the cemetery’s land”.
Last month, Israeli authorities placed metal fences around the parts of the cemetery that it intends to annex. Wafa added that the parts of the cemetery which are subject to confiscation and destruction contain the centuries-old graves of Muslim leaders.
In 2015, the Bab Al-Rahma cemetery was subject to demolitions after Israeli authorities announced plans to seize parts of the cemetery for a national park trail.
According to numerous UN resolution East Jerusalem is occupied territory and as such Israel has no legal rights to annex it or complete works for the benefit of the occupying people.