Jerusalem24 – Last night, Dozens of Palestinians in Jerusalem performed the Maghrib and Isha prayers at the entrance to the Yusufiya cemetery and near the monument of the Unknown Soldier; in response to the call of the Islamic Cemetery Affairs Committee.
The gathering was in protest against the resumption of excavations in the cemetery by crews from the Elad Association, the Israeli Municipality and the Israeli Nature Authority.
This Monday morning, the afore mentioned crews arrived to bulldoze and fence off the cemetery. In preparation for the establishment of a “Biblical Garden” project northeast of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli police prevented dozens of Jerusalemite families from entering the cemetery and visiting the graves of their family members in the Yusufiyah cemetery.
One Palestinian woman said that an Israeli soldier beat her and prevented her from entering the cemetery to protect her son’s grave, adding, “this is a brutal occupation, even the dead were not spared its barbarism.” Israeli Special Forces and the police arrested a young man after assaulting him in the Yusufiyah cemetery, and detained him in the car for several minutes, and then released him.
Members of the Israeli extreme right, with the help of the Israeli municipality crews and the Nature Authority, began erecting iron fences, in preparation for closing the cemetery and preventing citizens from entering it, as well as bulldozing works and obliterating parts of the cemetery and tombstones.
This comes a week after the destruction and exhumation of a number of graves.
It is noteworthy that the cemetery’s geographical and strategic location is important and vital, due to its proximity to the Jerusalem wall and the Lions Gate, the corner of the old town near the Palestinian Museum. The cemetery is at a crossroads linking the old town with al-Tur, Wadi al-Joz, Silwan and Ras al-Amud.