Muslim scholars slam Israeli demolition of historic cemetery in Jerusalem

Israeli forces take measures as construction of a park is underway near the eastern walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Old City (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 25, 2021

Palestinian Muslim Scholars Association on Monday condemned Israel’s razing of the Islamic Al-Yusufiye Cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a statement, the association said the Israeli authorities did not respect the feelings of Muslims by “Judaizing” their graves and such an act will lead to an escalation in the face of the Israeli occupation.

The association urged Muslim scholars in the Arab and Islamic world to intensify their efforts to raise awareness on “Judaization” attempts in Jerusalem.

On Monday, the Israeli municipal authorities resumed destruction and levelling of the Al-Yusufiye Cemetery, despite protests by Palestinian residents who have relatives buried in the cemetery.

The head of the Committee for the Preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli municipal crews bulldozed part of the cemetery land.

He added that the Israeli authorities seek to change and convert part of the cemetery into biblical gardens.

Al-Yusufiye Cemetery, located next to the wall surrounding the Old City, is one of the oldest Muslim graveyards in occupied Jerusalem.

Both the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered occupied areas under international law.