Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:00
Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox
Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has called upon churches
internationally to immediately intervene to prevent Israel from
continuing to obliterate features of Christianity in the
Palestinian town of Ein Karem situated west of Occupied
Accompanied by his lawyer Keis Youssef Naser, Hanna visited Ein
Karem on Wednesday (04.08.2010) to examine the Christian sites
threatened by the Occupation.
Following the visit, Hanna made an urgent appeal to all churches
and church leaders to follow up on this issue and to take legal
measures to prevent the Israeli authorities from building on
these sites which represent the Christian history of Palestine.
He called upon the Christian world to take necessary measures to
protect these sites, and warned that heritage sites linked to
the First Church and Christian presence in the first four
centuries AD were being targeted.
It is worth mentioning that the Palestinian town of Ein Karem,
west of Jerusalem, is considered one among hundreds of
Arab-Palestinian towns that were obliterated by the Israeli
Occupation. The Israeli hospital of Hadassah Ein Karem and other
official Israeli buildings now exist on the rubble of the town.
Israel Demolishes Grave Stones of the
Companions Buried in Jerusalem
(04.08.2010) morning, Israeli machinery began the sweeping of a
number of graves in the historic Islamic Ma'man Allah cemetery
in occupied Jerusalem which contains dozens of tombs dating back
to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Endowments said:
"Machinery and bulldozers belonging to the Israeli municipal
authorities in Jerusalem have dug up and destroyed 15 tombs in
the Ma'man Allah cemetery located in the far north east of
Jerusalem. This action is in accordance with Judaisation plans
for the Holy city which aims at ridding Jerusalem of all that is
Arab and Islamic".
In a copy
of a written statement sent to 'Quds Press', the Foundation
clarified that the Israeli violation had "occurred after the Al-Aqsa
Foundation undertook to cooperate in the upkeep of the cemetery
carrying out maintenance and repairs and cleaning it."
The Al-Aqsa Foundation condemned the act as an 'odious crime'
and said that it would "continue with the maintenance and
preservation of the Ma'man Allah cemetery; taking care of the
tombs inside of it and undertaking the full legal and religious
responsibilities toward our graves and our dead."
The Ma'man Allah cemetery is one of the largest Muslim
cemeteries in the area estimated at approximately two hundred
Credible Palestinian sources confirm that the Ma'man Allah
cemetery contains the remains of a number of the companions of
the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) such as 'Ubadah bin
Samit and many graves belonging those from the generation that
followed the companions. The cemetery also contains the graves
of numerous other notables of Islam, martyrs and righteous
Israel "has declared war on the
living and the dead to erase Palestinian identity"
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has
called the authorities' destruction of hundreds of graves in the
Muslim Ma'aman Allah Cemetery in Jerusalem "a declaration of war
against living and dead Palestinians".
Massoud Ghanayem said that this "declaration of war" is Israel's
way of "imposing its agenda and trying to erase Palestinian
identity and distort the identity of the land". Such action, he
added, "proves that Israel is still acting with brutality
against icons of Palestinian identity in the drive to confiscate
Arabs' and Muslims' rights in the city of Jerusalem".
The United Arab List MK drew attention to the fact that Ma'aman
Allah Cemetery is "a cultural legacy and an important part of
Jerusalem's history, the loss of which should be of concern to
the Israeli government even as it aims to Judaize the Holy
Israeli authorities destroy over
200 tombs in Jerusalem’s Ma’man Allah cemetery
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Endowments has
revealed that after midnight on 10 August, bulldozers of the
Israeli Occupation dug up and completely removed more than 200
tombs from the Ma’man Allah cemetery in Jerusalem, which is the
oldest and largest Islamic burial site in the city. Ma’man Allah
is also the burial ground for a number of the companions of the
Prophet (peace be upon him) as well as scholars, notables,
martyrs and the general Muslim population of Jerusalem.
A crew from the Al-Aqsa Foundation has maintained a continuous
presence at the cemetery since the Magistrate’s court ruling on
Monday afternoon permitting the destruction of the tombs. The
crew, which includes Mr. Fawaz Hassan, an observer of the work
of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, the journalist Mahmoud Abu ‘Ata, the
media co-ordinator for the Al-Aqsa Foundation and Mr. Sharaf
Ahmad, the Al-Aqsa Foundation’s press photographer, has been
closely monitoring the activities of the Israeli Occupation both
day and night.
The al-Aqsa crew inside the cemetery have confirmed that
bulldozers, trucks and a large number of staff and Israeli state
representatives under police escort stormed the cemetery at
exactly 12:30 after midnight. The bulldozers along with the
excavation and demolition equipment were divided into two
groups; one group began with the destruction and excavation of
the tombs on the western side of the cemetery, and the other
group destroyed and removed graves on the south-eastern side.
Within minutes of these developments, the Al-Aqsa Foundation
immediately informed the Arab media of the unfolding events and
had gathered a large crew of photographers and journalists on
the scene. The Israeli Occupation and their police escort tried
to prevent the photographers and journalists from filming or
carrying out their professional duties. One of the photographers
was attacked by a bulldozer driver who attempted to run him
over, however, the journalists and photographers insisted on
carrying out their work to document the Israeli crime. During
the demolition operation, a quarrel broke out between the police
and the representatives of the Israeli state due to the Muslim
presence. Al-Hajj Mustafa Abu Zahra, one of the cemetery’s
endowment trustees arrived at Ma’man Allah during the
destruction and tried to stop the bulldozers from continuing
with their crimes; however the police intervened and prevented
him from doing so.
It is worth mentioning here that the actions of the
Israeli Occupation came after the Al-Aqsa Foundation for
Heritage and Endowment and the trustees of the cemetery’s
endowment, al-Hajj Sami Rizq Allah Abu Mukh and al-Hajj Mustafa
Abu Zahra, had undertaken the restoration, repair and
maintenance of hundreds of graves that were at risk of
disappearing due to repeated Israeli attacks. However, this does
not appear to have satisfied the Israeli authorities.