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Hamas calls for confronting Israel over Muslim cemetery demolition

A Palestinian mother at her son's grave, as Israeli forces prepare to turn the Al-Yusufiya cemetery into a park on 25 October 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
A Palestinian mother can be seen at her son's grave, as Israeli forces prepare to turn the cemetery into a park in Jerusalem on 25 October 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli demolition of Al-Yusufiya cemetery in the occupied city of Jerusalem is a "heinous crime," Hamas said yesterday.

"What is happening in Al-Yusufiya cemetery is a heinous crime that is part of a series of crimes against Jerusalem's cemeteries," Hamas spokesman Mohammed Hamadeh said in a statement, describing the move as "blatant proof of the brutality of the occupation which has extended its attacks on Palestinians who are alive and dead."

Hamadeh called on the residents of Jerusalem to "rise up in the face of the occupation's increasing incursion against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque." "You should all gather at the cemetery to confront the bulldozing, and to deter the occupation from continuing its crime," he stressed.

The occupation authorities yesterday restarted bulldozing works in Al-Yusufiya Cemetery, adjacent to the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem despite protests by Palestinian residents.

The municipality seeks to turn the cemetery into a park and paths as part of its plan to build multiple Talmudic parks and trails for Jewish settlers and tourists around the walls of the Old City.

In December 2020, the municipality demolished a stairway and a fence at the cemetery.

In 2014, it prevented Jerusalemite citizens from burying their relatives in the cemetery's northern area and removed 20 graves of Jordanian soldiers who were killed in 1967.

READ: Muslim scholars slam Israeli demolition of historic cemetery in Jerusalem

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