Daily Israel Report

False Arab Graves Also Found Near Eastern Old City Wall

Arabs place false graves near Eastern Old City Wall, ignoring a High Court ruling deeming the area a national park.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/2/2010, 5:20 AM / Last Update: 9/2/2010, 5:16 AM

Several weeks ago, Arutz7 reported exclusively that dozens of new tombs were being added to the Mamilla Cemetery, an ancient Muslim cemetery located on the outskirts of Jerusalem's Independence Park, but no one is buried beneath them. These faked graves were in fact a Muslim project aimed at taking over land.

Following Arutz7’s report, the faked tombs were removed by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Lands Authority.

Now, it appears as though the same phenomenon is occurring also in the area of the Eastern Wall in Jerusalem (adjacent to the Western Wall). The Arabs are simply ignoring a law that deems the area a national park.

Maya Shukri of the El Har HaMoriyah Institute, who documented the faked graves with her camera, told Arutz7 on Wednesday that at the present time, the graves are empty but an infrastructure is in place for future burials. Shukri, who compared older photographs to photographs taken recently, said that “there are markings [of graves] there, but underneath there is only soil. Some of them don’t have a tombstone.”

About a year ago, Israel’s High Court responded to an appeal which was brought forth and ruled that no burial would be allowed to take place on these grounds, and in fact, ruled that the area is to be transformed into a national park. The decision meant that the area would be cleaned, benches will be placed, and proper lighting installed.

Shukri said, however, described a reality that is far from what was ruled by the Court. “A year has passed and nothing has been done,” she said. “The police promised to provide any required assistance to turn the place into a national park, but what is happening today is that the police are preventing Jews from passing through the place.”

All the while, Arabs are continuing to place tombstones and concrete blocks in preparation for future burials on the site.

Shukri pointed out the historical value of the area which once held a a bridge that connected the Holy Temple and the Mount of Olives. In the Holy Temple periods, the High Priest would pass through this bridge on his way to slaughter the para aduma, the red heifer whose ashes were used in purity laws.  Shukri said that by preventing free access to Jews to the area and by allowing it to be covered by illegal empty graves, the site’s unique Jewish history will be obliterated. The High Court recognized this, but the follow up to its ruling never occurred. Instead, Arab encroachers took over.