Hundreds of Palestinian residents of the city of Yafa organized a protest against the Israeli demolition of a historic Islamic cemetery, Anadolu Agency reported.
Protestors performed the Friday prayer and started a march condemning the Israeli decision to demolish the Islamic Al-Isaaf Cemetery located in the north of the city of Yafa.
On Monday, Israeli bulldozers started the demolition of the cemetery in preparation for building a new Israeli housing project.
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality began demolishing on Monday an 18th century Muslim burial ground in Jaffa that was discovered after plans had been made to build a new homeless shelter and commercial space on the site.https://t.co/CHXjkfdvAz#cemeteries pic.twitter.com/5dA6r404Xr
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The protesters gathered in the cemetery in an attempt to stop the demolition. The city council called the police who tried to guard the demolition, resulting in clashes with the protestors after Israeli police fired tear gas and used sound bombs against them.
Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, who is currently banned by the Israeli occupation from entering the holy site, delivered the Friday khotba.
Sabri conveyed that exhuming tombs is prevented in Islam in order to preserve the dignity of those buried, stressing that the cemetery is a land of Islamic endowment and is owned by all Muslims.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 20, 2019
“We call on you to protect the cemeteries,” Sabri told the gathering, expressing that “defending cemeteries is defending lands, and defending the dead is defending a legitimate right.”
Sabri shared his hope that the cemetery is protected by Allah, and not by a UN Security Council resolution or by the international community.
Al-Isaaf Cemetery, which dates back to Ottoman times, includes hundreds of burials of Muslims who were laid there before the Israeli occupation of the city in 1948.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)