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Mass graves of Palestinians killed in 1948 Nakba discovered in Jaffa

Al-Akhbar | May 30, 2013

Six mass grave sites dating back to the 1936 Palestinian uprising and the 1948 Nakba were discovered around the Jaffa cemetery, the al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage reported Wednesday, revealing hundreds of bodies of Palestinians killed by Zionist forces.

“During [the foundation’s] repair and maintenance work on the [Kazkhana] cemetery, we discovered nozzles to dig into the ground where we found the mass graves…including hundreds of skeletons and human remains of rebels, martyrs and civilians who perished during the Nakba,” head of the Islamic Movement in Jaffa, Sheikh Mohammed Najem, said in the report.

A picture by the al-Aqsa Foundation shows skeletons buried in a mass grave

The foundation has proved the remains date back to the victims killed in the 1948 war, whether from bombings and shelling of residential neighborhoods or snipers located around the city, the report said.

“The Kazkhana cemetery has exposed the historical facts that Israel has tried to hide and erase for over 65 years relating to the massacres committed by Zionist gangs during the 1948 Palestinian Nakba,” it read.

“These mass graves have banished all doubts of the certainty of oral histories collected by historians of people who lived through the Nakba of 1948 and parts of the war documenting massacres in Jaffa and its suburbs,” the report added.

Some of the recorded histories document eyewitnesses witnessing piles of bodies scattered around in all of Jaffa’s neighborhoods, which were buried in mass graves due to the violent circumstances at the time.

The report shares an eyewitness account explaining how the residents of Jaffa were forced to move bodies to the cemetery and bury them in mass graves as the town was being heavily bombarded by Zionist forces.

“The foundation will continue to conduct research and scientifically test the remains…to send media messages to the whole world that Israel is built on the skulls of the Palestinian people,” Abed al-Majid Ighbariya, the head of the files on holy sites of the foundation, said.

The Nakba, or “Catastrophe,” refers to the expropriation and mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland by Zionists.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on Mass graves of Palestinians killed in 1948 Nakba discovered in Jaffa

Historic buildings around Al-Aqsa continue to be demolished

MEMO | February 9, 2013

For the third day in a row, Israeli bulldozers are demolishing historic arches and facades of Islamic buildings dating back to the Mamluk and Ottoman eras on the north side of Buraq Square. The site lies just 50 metres from the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.

Details of the architectural vandalism by the Israeli occupation authorities were provided by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowments and Heritage in a press statement. The Israeli demolition work is a prelude to the establishment of a centre promoting the state’s Judaisation policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. The buildings in question formed part of the Moroccan Quarter of the Old City, which was demolished by the Israelis in 1967 at the start of the occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The foundation said that it will use exclusive maps and documents to show how the Israelis plan to establish a synagogue, a police station, a reception area and show rooms on the site, all of which will be linked to tunnels under Al-Aqsa Mosque. A press conference will be held on Sunday for that purpose which will be attended by the head of the Islamic movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah. Among the other speakers will be the Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council and the Imam of Al Aqsa Mosque, Dr Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, and Hatem Abdel Qader, who deals with the Jerusalem file for Fatah, as well as the foundation’s director, Amir Khatib.

According to the documents held by Al-Aqsa Foundation, the development will necessitate the destruction of noted Islamic landmarks. It is worth noting that the State of Israel pledged in its Declaration of Independence that it “will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. The State of Israel regularly breaks both pledges with apparent impunity.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinian anger at university construction on Islamic cemetery

MEMO | August 29, 2012

A Palestinian educational institution in Israel has called for a demonstration on Thursday in front of Sheikh Mo’nes Cemetery in Tel-Aviv to protest at what it says is “the violation” of those buried there. Israeli construction company Solel Bonei has started to bulldoze the cemetery to prepare the ground to build student halls of residence for Tel-Aviv University.

Iqraa Educational Institution has criticised the university’s project an act that violates human rights and academic principles. “How can students, Muslims or Jews, trust the university’s academic credentials when it is prepared to violate the sanctity of the dead?” it said in a press statement.

Researcher Ahmed Tobasi from Al-Tadamun Human Rights Organisation discovered the plans about a month ago. This led to a demonstration at the beginning of August organised by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Islamic Endowments and Heritage. The head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, joined many Palestinian activists in the protest. “The cemetery is being reduced in size from 20 acres to just 1.5 acres,” he said.

According to Sheikh Raed, Tel-Aviv University itself was originally built on the land of the Islamic cemetery after razing hundreds of graves and throwing out the bones of the dead. “Today, the university shows its determination to violate human rights by deciding to extend its premises at the expense of the remaining cemetery land.” It is absolutely shameful to teach students about human rights while you violate them, the Sheikh added.

The head of student activities at Iqraa, Mohammed Farhan, also criticised the university: “Its construction work in the cemetery violates its academic message and has aroused the anger of many international academic institutions.” The university, he pointed out, criticised the academic boycott by international universities but today had proved that it is far removed from academic and human values and is thus deserving of boycott action.

Farhan said that students will continue to protest against the university’s desecration of the Muslim cemetery. “Tel Aviv University has to respect the rights and feelings of the Arab students study therein.”

A lawyer acting on behalf of Al-Aqsa Foundation, Mohammed Ighbareyah, submitted a petition last week to the Israeli High Court demanding a court order to stop the construction. He described the work as a “dangerous escalation against Islamic sites which constitutes a severe violation of human rights by a university which considers itself remarkable among world academic institutions”. Legal efforts will continue, he said, until the construction of the students’ halls on the land of the Islamic cemetery is stopped.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding area attacked 100 times during 2011

MEMO | February 22, 2012

A study conducted by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage in Israel has revealed that Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding area has been subjected to around 100 attacks and violations in 2011 alone. The study noted that the attacks varied between physical attacks and plots which pose threats to the sanctity and security of the mosque. The study also documented provocative statements constituting incitement by Israelis to damage the third holiest site in the Muslim world.

The report claims that around 5,000 Israelis, including Jewish settlers and members of other extremist groups, stormed into Al-Aqsa in 2011. The intruders performed Talmudic rituals, sometimes in public, other times in secret, including carrying parts of the Torah inside the mosque.

There has also been an escalation in the frequency of incursions by Israeli intelligence officers and political and official figures into Al-Aqsa Mosque.

More than 200,000 tourists were granted admittance to the mosque, sometimes violating its sanctity by wearing scanty clothing.

Al-Aqsa has witnessed a campaign of unprecedented military presence; strict measures preventing Muslims from going to the mosque; and acts aimed at decreasing the continuous Muslim presence in the Noble Sanctuary, through banning orders and limiting entry to certain age groups. The Israeli Occupation Authorities also prevented 3.7 million Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip from reaching Occupied Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque to conduct acts of worship therein.

While the Israelis have blocked essential maintenance and reconstruction within the mosque compound, Jewish organisations’ calls for the mosque to be destroyed and a temple to be built in its place have increased in number. The year 2011 saw a campaign of excavations and the construction of long, interlinked tunnels underneath Al Aqsa and the surrounding area in all directions. The tunnels are to have “Jewish synagogues and Judaisation centres”. What has been notable about the excavations last year is that they have been more overt, unlike previous years.

Israeli efforts to Judaise the area have included work at the Muslim-owned Buraq (“Wailing”) Wall and the proposed demolition of the historic Magharba Gate Bridge. The report notes that the latter was saved, temporarily at least, by the effects of the Arab Spring and concerns raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel has plans to transform the area around Al-Aqsa into so-called “Talmudic gardens”, which will incorporate tourist centres and commercial shopping malls. All of this is in addition to the increasing number of illegal Jewish settlers and settlements in districts such as Ras Al-Amoud.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage has issued a warning that the Israeli Occupation Authorities could seek to capitalise on the developments of the Arab Spring so as to damage Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sanctuary in 2012. Intelligence reports, it says, predict serious attacks against Al-Aqsa by extremist Jews. Such predictions follow statements by former Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Member Avraham Burg that Al-Aqsa will be demolished or torched while Netanyahu is in office; and this, he claimed, will be followed by the establishment of the so-called Third Temple. In the light of these serious threats to the Holy Mosque, the Foundation called on Muslims and Arabs to put Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa at the top of their priorities for action.

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment