The court rejects the request to stop work on the land of the “Yusufiya / Martyr’s Memorial” cemetery
October 17, 2021

On Sunday, the Israeli Magistrate’s Court issued its decision rejecting the request of the Committee for the Care of Cemeteries in Jerusalem to issue a ban order against the municipality of Jerusalem and the so-called “Nature and Public Parks Authority” preventing them from continuing excavations and exhumations in the graves of the dead in the land of the Martyrs’ Cemetery, adjacent to the Yusufiya cemetery next to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Lawyer Mohannad Jbara - who pleads on behalf of the Committee for the Care of Cemeteries in Jerusalem - explained that the discussion is about a dangerous and sudden decision that does not deal with the facts of matters, and does not take into account the sanctity of the place, the danger of exhuming graves and the appearance of the bones of the dead and touching the feelings of Muslims in Jerusalem and the world.

Jbara said in a clarification statement that the Committee for the Care of Cemeteries in Jerusalem confirmed that the land of the cemetery is an Islamic land and has nothing to do with what the Jerusalem municipality plans to establish a public park in the place.

Lawyer Mohannad Jbara clarified that the Cemeteries Committee will submit an immediate appeal against the court’s decision to the District Court, through which it will be clarified that despite the pledges and allegations of the Jerusalem Municipality in the past, the mechanisms of the Jerusalem Municipality have carried out bulldozing operations of the cemetery land and the land of the martyrs’ tomb. The bulldozing operations resulted in the emergence of parts of the remains of the dead who had been buried in the cemetery, as the mechanisms of the Jerusalem municipality exhumed the graves and broke the bones and skulls of the dead, disregarding its obligations before the court and causing desecration of the sanctity of the Islamic cemetery and the sanctity of the place among Muslims.

Last Sunday, the occupation bulldozers razed parts of the cemetery of the martyrs, belonging to the Yusufiya cemetery, near the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the eastern side, and during that, parts and bones of the dead who had been buried in the cemetery appeared. The Committee for the Care of Cemeteries in Jerusalem, through lawyer Mohannad Jbara and lawyer Hamzeh Qutteineh, filed an urgent request to the Magistrate's Court to issue a ban order against the Jerusalem municipality and the so-called Israeli Nature and parks Authority, which prevents them from continuing with the bulldozing and exhuming of the graves of Muslims in this cemetery.

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 Al-Arid plot, after the Cemeteries Committee had established that the talk was about endowment land that had been endowed since the Jordanian era for the purpose of establishing an Islamic cemetery, and after it was proven to the Israeli court that the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli Nature Authority have no rights in this land.

The Israeli court had responded to the request of the Jerusalem Municipality and the “Nature and Parks Authority” to resume the razing of 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 staff several times, that these actions will necessarily lead to the exhumation of graves and the violation of their sanctity.

It is noteworthy 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 of land, and after the Jerusalem municipality pledged not to touch the graves on the plot of land in any way, but last Sunday the municipality's pledges were reversed.