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Israel court upholds demolition of Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem

October 18, 2021 at 11:11 am

Israeli soldiers demolished a wall at an Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem on 14 December 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli District Court in Jerusalem on Sunday upheld the Israeli demolition of a Muslim graveyard, known as Al-Yusufiyah Cemetery, by the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem, Safa News Agency reported.

Last week, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem started bulldozing the cemetery, one of the oldest Muslim cemeteries in occupied Jerusalem, exposing human remains.

Mustafa Abu Zahra, head of the Committee for the Care of Islamic Cemeteries, announced in a statement: “The ruling of the Israeli court was shocking. However, it was expected.”

The Israeli occupation municipality of the occupied Holy City plans to bulldoze Al-Yusufiyah Cemetery to build a “Bible Trail”, a string of national parks in the south of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Abu Zahra said that his committee had presented all the necessary documents to the court that prove the area is an Islamic cemetery, and that the Israeli court had no justifications for upholding the demolition. He confirmed that his committee would appeal against the court’s ruling.

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Meanwhile, the committee’s lawyer, Muhannad Jbarah, said: “This is a dangerous issue as the court has ignored the reality and facts related to the area, as well as ignoring the holiness of the graves and the sensitivity of exhuming tombs for Muslims.”

Last week, the Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem demolished part of the cemetery over the weekend, exposing human bones buried in a section where Jordanian soldiers killed during the 1967 war were laid to rest.