Jerusalem, 2 Rabiul Akhir 1434/ 11 February 2013 (MINA) – The Israeli occupation authorities have issued eviction and demolition notices on an apartment block in Jerusalem in which the city’s Grand Sheikh lives. Sixteen apartments and their owners will be affected by the move. Sheikh Ikrama Sabri is one of the Imams at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Sheikh told local media that the Israelis have given no reason for the demolition of the building. However, he believes that it is part of Israel’s “Judaisation” policy for the Holy City, which has seen the number of Palestinian buildings being demolished by the authorities increase recently.
According to Sheikh Sabri, the Israelis clearly want to remove all traces of Jerusalem’s indigenous Arab population. At the moment, Arabs and Muslims make up 36 per cent of the population of Jerusalem. “Israel plans to reduce this to 12 per cent by 2020,” said the eminent scholar.
He called on Arab and Islamic countries to support the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, especially with funds for housing projects to encourage them to resist Israel’s ethnic cleansing, according to Middle East Monitor (MEMO) report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Monday.
Historic buildings around Al-Aqsa continue to be demolished
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.
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. (T/P01/E1).
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)