Israel expels head of Islamic Cemeteries Committee from Jerusalem

The Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality team along with Israeli soldiers and bulldozers demolish part of the Al Yousifieh Cemetery in Jerusalem (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 21, 2021

The Israeli occupation authorities have expelled the head of the Islamic Cemeteries Care Committee, Haj Mustafa Abu Zahra, from Jerusalem, Safa news agency has reported. The expulsion order is in place for 10 days and was made a day after he was arrested and taken for interrogation.

Eyewitnesses said that occupation police and intelligence officers arrested Abu Zahra in Al-Masara neighbourhood opposite Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem. He owns a food store in the area.

“The Israeli occupation border police and intelligence services stormed into my shop and detained me,” Abu Zahra told Safa. “They interrogated me and questioned me about the cemetery and then accused me of inciting Jerusalemites to start an uprising.”

The lawyer representing the Committee, Muhannad Jabara, said that Abu Zahra was interrogated in the so-called “4 rooms” in the Moskoubiya detention centre in Jerusalem.

Jabara added that Abu Zahra went to the Yusufiyah Cemetery on Tuesday morning to check whether the Israelis had resumed the bulldozing that they were doing there. A message from the Committee head, said Jabara, confirmed that he saw teams from the Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality in the vicinity of the cemetery. The so-called “nature authority”, he pointed out, is likely to resume excavations in the cemetery.