Israeli authorities have destroyed Muslim graves on Sunday near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the illegally occupied eastern Jerusalem.

The Israel-administered Jerusalem Municipality desecrated several graves at the Al-Yusufiye Cemetery near Al-Aqsa using the municipality’s engineering vehicles in the Old City.

By the time the Palestinians reached Al-Yusufiye Cemetery amid reports of bones found at the graveyard, the municipality vehicles had already left the scene.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that the soldiers injured three Palestinians, including one of its medics, after shooting them with concussion grenades.

The Israeli aggression took place when dozens of Palestinians were gathered in and around the graveyard to protest its ongoing desecration. It is reported that the Israeli bulldozers also removed and scattered the bones in one of the graves.

Israelis exposed skeletal remains

The head of the Islamic Cemeteries Committee in Jerusalem Hajj Mustafa Abu Zahra said that the soldiers bulldozed sections of the Al-Yusufiye graveyard the bulldozers dug into a grave and exposed the skeletal remains of one of the graves.

Abu Zahra said that the Palestinians then managed to fend off the Israeli bulldozers, and reburied the bones in the grave.

Talking to international media, the executive director of the Commission for the Protection of Muslim Graves Ahmed al-Dajani said that an Israeli court has given the Israeli Archeology Directorate permission to work on a site close to the graveyard.

Al-Dajani said that some of the demolished graves belonged to the Muslims who were martyred in the conflicts between 1948 and 1967. He said that Israel will face legal action in response to the municipality’s act.

Al-Dajani said that the Jerusalem Municipality under Israeli administration has planned to build a park close to the cemetery. He said that the vicinities of the graveyard remain an indispensable part of Al-Yusufiye Cemetery.

Not the first time

The site is located next to the wall surrounding the Old City and it is one of the oldest Muslim graveyards in occupied Jerusalem.

Earlier, the Jerusalem Municipality attempted to raze a historic staircase that led to the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the Palestinians prevented the demolition.

Under the pretext of international law, Israel’s brutal occupation of both the West Bank and East Jerusalem is considered illegal.


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