An urgent request to stop excavation works in the Yusufiya Cemetery
October 11, 2021

On Monday, the Islamic Cemetery Care Committee of the Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem appealed to the Magistrate’s Court for an urgent request to issue a prohibition order against the Jerusalem municipality and the so-called Israeli Nature and Parks Authority, to prevent them from continuing the bulldozing and digging of the graves of Muslims in the Yusufiya Cemetery / Martyr’s Memorial.

This came after the occupation bulldozers razed part of the cemetery's land. Israeli occupation vehicles swept away the remains and bones of the dead who had been buried in the cemetery.

Lawyers Mohannad Jbara and Hamza Qutteineh said in a statement that the Islamic Cemetery Care Committee had previously obtained a precautionary decision preventing the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority from entering the plot, after the Cemeteries Committee proved that the talk is about endowment land since the Jordanian Covenant for the purpose of establishing an Islamic cemetery, and after it has been proven to the Israeli court that there are no rights for the Jerusalem Municipality and/or the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority in this land.

The Jerusalem municipality had tried to revoke the ban order and had not succeeded in the past, until the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority submitted a third request to the Israeli court to cancel the ban after claiming that the Cemeteries Committee bury the dead of Muslims in the land despite its classification as green land, which therefore prevents the establishment of graves in it.

The two lawyers explained that the court responded to the request of the Jerusalem Municipality and the Nature and Parks Authority, and allowed them to resume the bulldozing work in the cemetery and to continue converting the cemetery’s land into a public park in order to ensure that Muslims do not build new graves in it, as part of efforts to Judaize the city and change its geographical and historical features, despite the warning of the defense staffthat these actions will necessarily lead to the exhumation of graves and the violation of their sanctity.

The two lawyers explained that the decision to cancel the ban came after the Jerusalem municipality claimed that it would carry out cleaning and planting of roses and establishing a public garden without carrying out any excavation or works that would change the features of the plot, and after the Jerusalem municipality pledged not to touch the graves on the plot in any way.

The statement added that despite the pledges and allegations of the Jerusalem municipality above, the bulldozers of the Jerusalem municipality razed the cemetery land and the land of the martyrs’ tomb. It violated its obligations before the court, and caused the desecration of the sanctity of the Islamic cemetery and the sanctity of the place among Muslims, which led to the outbreak of confrontations between Jerusalemites and the occupation forces in some neighborhoods in the city of Jerusalem.

Lawyer Mohannad Jbara emphasized that international law and agreements signed by the countries of the world and the monotheistic religions preserve the sanctity of the dead, which the occupation authorities blatantly and publicly violated, as today the hand of the occupation extended to the dead of Muslims in Jerusalem whowere not spared from the trampling and oppression of the occupation.

Burial of bones

On Monday, the Jerusalemites collected and buried the bones that were exhumed, after excavating a grave for them.