Israel implanting thousands of ‘fake’ Jewish graves around Aqsa Mosque: Palestinian group
Israel is implanting “thousands of fake” Jewish graves in the land surrounding al-Aqsa Mosque “at the pretext of carrying out repair and maintenance works and new excavations” in a bid to lay hand on Palestinian and Islamic endowment lands, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said in a report on Monday.
“The Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is committing a very ugly crime on Palestinian lands, on Muslim endowment lands, and that is the implanting of thousands of fake Jewish graves in this site,” Abdel Majeed Mohammad, of the Aqsa Foundation was quoted in report as saying.
“What we learned from the people of Silwan is that there is limited number of Jewish graves (around Aqsa Mosque). The Israeli occupation is trying to impose a fait accomplice to control Palestinian endowment lands through implanting 3,000 graves.”
“This is the greatest paradox; on the one hand Israel bulldozes Muslim graves in Jerusalem, on the other hands it implants thousands of fake Jewish graves,” Mohammad said.
He added that thousands of Jewish tombstones were planted around the mosque to indicate graves, but underneath, there are no bodies, nor skeletons.
In January 2012, the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reported that Israel “implanted 50 unreal graves in the northern part of Silwan district so as to control and seize about 20 dunums of Palestinian land there.”
“This Israeli move is aimed at separating the area from the walls of the Aqsa Mosque, where the IOA [Israeli Occupation Authority] also intends to establish a chain of Talmudic gardens and a large Jewish museum in the area connected with the Jewish cemetery in Ras al-Amud and Attour neighborhoods and the settlements, Maale Hazeetim and Maale David,” PIC reported.
In 2010 Israel said it had destroyed about 300 Muslim gravestones in a Jerusalem cemetery because they were “fake” and set up in a bid to snatch government land, according to AFP.
But the Islamic Movement completely denied the graves were fake, saying all of them contained bodies.
The demolition of the graves took place near the site of a planned Museum of Tolerance to be built by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish human rights group.