Middle East Monitor / September 28, 2023
Israeli Jews have been caught on video jumping on Muslim graves at Bab al-Rahmeh Cemetery on the eastern side of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem. The footage has sparked strong criticism from the Islamic Waqf (Religious Endowment) Department which has custodianship of Islamic religious sites in the occupied city.
The video is believed to have been recorded during the Yom Kippur holiday, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It shows numerous Jewish youths singing and leaping among and upon the cemetery’s gravestones.
The Waqf manages the site which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque. Officials condemned what they described as the “desecration” of Muslim graves by Jewish extremists, alleging that they engaged in celebratory activities on these graves with police protection.
However, in response to an inquiry from The Times of Israel, an Israel Police spokesperson refuted these claims, saying that officers were “moving people along, taking them away from the scene.”
Waqf officials further criticized the security measures imposed around Al-Aqsa compound by Israel, which include random inspections, the confiscation of worshippers’ identity cards, and restrictions on Palestinians entering the area. They denounced such actions undertaken in the name of Jewish holidays, and said that they were unacceptable.
In an appeal to the Muslim world, the Waqf officials pointed out that only Muslims have the right to maintain their holy sites, and renewed calls to all Islamic governments to support its guardianship.
The head of the Islamic Cemeteries Care Committee, Mustafa Abu Zahra, told Al-Araby al-Jadeed that settlers turned their holiday into acts of aggression against Muslim graves.