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Video of Jewish men treading on Muslim graves on Yom Kippur sparks condemnation

The Waqf, which oversees Islamic sites in Jerusalem, calls incident an ‘act of desecration’ of the Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery, adjacent to the Old City walls

A video showing a group of Jewish young men stepping on gravestones in Jerusalem’s Bab al-Rahmeh Muslim cemetery drew harsh condemnation by the Waqf, the authority in charge of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

The video, reportedly filmed on Yom Kippur, shows dozens of Jewish boys singing and jumping between the gravestones of the cemetery, adjacent to the eastern wall of the Temple Mount outside Jerusalem’s Old City, before being escorted away from the site by police officers.

The Waqf, a religious entity managed by Jordan, condemned the act of “desecration” by Jewish extremists, claiming that they danced on Muslim graves under police protection.

A spokesman for the Israel Police, in response to an inquiry by The Times of Israel, denied the claim, saying that police officers were “moving people along, taking them away from the scene.”

The Waqf also denounced the security measures allegedly adopted by Israel inside and around the Mount’s Al-Aqsa compound, including arbitrary checks, the confiscation of ID cards of worshipers heading to the mosque, and the prohibition on young people to enter the area, adding that such measures cannot be accepted under the pretext of Jewish holidays.

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The Waqf further said that only Muslims have the right to maintain their own holy sites, and renewed calls to all Islamic governments to support its guardianship.

????????Dozens of Israeli settlers dance, sing, and perform religious rituals at the historic Bab al-Rahma cemetery, just outside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque eastern wall, yesterday, Yom Kippur. They trampled on Muslim graves. (@QudsNen)

— Noga Tarnopolsky נגה טרנופולסקי نوغا ترنوبولسكي???? (@NTarnopolsky) September 26, 2023

Mustafa Abu Zahra, head of the Islamic Cemeteries Committee in Jerusalem, denounced the incident, and in an interview with al-Arab al-Jadid said that settlers turned their holiday into an aggression against Muslim graveyards.

The Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery is the second most important Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem after Mamilla, and unlike the latter, it is still in use, according to the Israeli archeological nonprofit Emek Shaveh.