Picture- Details of what happened in Bab Al-Rahmeh cemetery…injuries, arrests and violating the sanctity of the dead
On Friday, Jerusalemites succeeded in removing parts of the iron fences placed by the Israeli Nature and Park Authority around parts of the graves in the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahmeh adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the east.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that dozens of Jerusalemites responded to the calls made for the protection of the remains of the dead in the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahmeh. They demonstrated inside the cemetery and succeeded in removing parts of the fences that had been established over the past two weeks. The Israeli forces forcibly removed them from the vicinity of the graves and fired sound grenades and rubber bullets at them.
The center added that the occupation soldiers turned the cemetery to a military barracks, where they closed the entrances and took out all those present after beating them, and desecrated the graves to climb it.
The Israeli occupation forces forced the residents to walk towards the village of Silwan and prevented them from heading towards Dung Gate. They also assaulted them as they walked through Al-Turbeh Street and at the entrance to the village.
The center added that many citizens, elderly and young people, were injured during the suppression of the occupation forces for their presence in the cemetery, some of them with shrapnel of sound grenades and rubber bullets. They were also wounded during the course of being assaulted and pushed, and one of the injuries was by a sound grenade in the face.
The information center learned that the Israeli occupation forces arrested 6 Palestinians from inside the cemetery and severelybeat them. They are: Emad Abbasi, 28, Mahdi Qara'een, Tarek Abbasi, 26, Hussam Hammoudeh, Emad Qaysi, 45, and Mustafa Awad.
Assault on press crews
The occupation forces assaulted the press crews by beating and pushing them away from the sit-in inside the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahmeh. They also fired rubber bullets and sound grenades at them, and deliberately obstructed the journalists' work and prevented them from taking pictures and freely moving in the cemetery to cover the various incidents. The soldiers harassed them and followed them from one place to another, and one of the soldiers photographed them.
Bab Al-Rahmeh cemetery
Bab Al-Rahmehcemetery extends from Lions Gate until the end of the wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque near the Umayyad palaces in the southern side. It covers an area of about 23 Dunoms (23000 square meters). The cemetery includes the remains of a number of the Prophet’s PBUH companions, most notably Obada Bin Samet and Shaddad Ibn Aws. It also includes the graves of several “Mujahideen” who participated in the conquest of Jerusalem during the Umayyad and Ayyubid periods.
The occupation authorities have been seeking for years to confiscate parts of the cemetery, with the aim of establishing the project "National Parks” in the vicinity of the Old City. They made a path for settlers and tourists on the cemetery's land, and prevented burying in parts of it. They also took a part of the cemetery to open a street known as the “Turbeh Street”. The Israeli occupation authorities have tried to put iron fences around some graves in the last two weeks.
The Nature and Parks authority claims that the cemetery and hill are classified as "national parks and open public squares." Under an organizational plan in the late 1990s, the land’s classification as an "Islamic cemetery" was cancelled while all evidence and documents confirm that the cemetery is registered in the British lands records in the name of the Islamic endowments and the lands of Husseini and Ansari families and are confirmed through official documents issued by the Islamic Court in Jerusalem since the nineteenth century.