The District Court issues a decision preventing the Nature and Parks Authority and the municipality from sweeping lands in Al-Rahmeh Cemetery in Jerusalem
January 17, 2018

The Israeli District Court issued last Wednesday a decision to keep the decision of preventing the temporary work in Bab Al-Rahmeh Cemetery, located on the eastern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque and adjacent hill conducted by the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority and the occupation municipality.

Lawyer Sami Arshid said that he recently appealed the decision of the Magistrate's Court, which refused to keep the decision to prevent the work in the cemetery until a decision is made regarding this case. The District court gave the municipality and Nature and Parks Authority time to respond to the appeal until the tenth of this month, and then requested to extend the period for one week; the response came on Wednesday.

Lawyer Arshid added that the municipality and Nature and Parks authority requested court to cancel the prevention order and to allow them to continue working in the cemetery and the hill. The court has responded to the claims of the municipality and the nature authority, stating that there is a new basis for the appeal filed by lawyer Arshid, and therefore must keep the prohibition against any action or interference from the municipality or nature authority in the cemetery or adjacent hill.

Arshid added that according to the claims of the nature authority and municipality, the cemetery and hill were 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 and they have the right to do work.

He added to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that the court said that the lawyer for the defense of the cemetery and hill said in his appeal that the disposition of the land was not disposed of its owners, and the project of the municipality and nature came without informing the Islamic Endowments department and the land owners (Husseini and Ansari families) about seizing their land through legal procedures, and therefore the prohibition order will stand until a hearing session for both parties is held.

Lawyer Arshid said the Nature and Parks authority and the occupation municipality cut and uprooted trees in the cemetery last week.

The lawyer also explained that all the evidence and documents confirm that the cemetery is registered in the “English lands authority” in the name of Islamic Endowments, and the lands of Husseini and Ansari families are registered with documents issued by the Islamic Court in Jerusalem since the nineteenth century, and there is no authority to the Nature and Parks authority to enter and work in the land of the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahmeh.