The al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage issued a press release on Monday revealing that Israeli bulldozers destroyed and demolished historic Islamic sites dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman eras in occupied Jerusalem. The Foundation said that Israel’s so-called Archeological Authority has been destroying and burying ancient Islamic sites over the last five years during excavations in al-Boraq, 100 meters west of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Some of the demolished sites are a mosque and a school building dating back to the Umayyad era.
The area is part of the al-Magharba neighborhood, or the Moroccan Quarter in English, that was mostly demolished by Israel on June 11, 1967, after Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The al-Aqsa Foundation reported that its teams repeatedly visited the site and examined documents and pictures documenting the Israeli violations.
The foundation said, “the occupation is demolishing ancient sites, Islamic historic sites and structures, and claiming that it found Archeological Jewish sites underneath”. It added, “Israel is planning to build a huge Jewish Center, including five underground floors”.
The foundation further stated that the Israeli Archeological Authority conducted, in the period between 2005 and 2009, excavations on 1,500 square meters in an area west of al-Buraq Wall.
“The excavations were conducted in Ash-Sharaf neighborhood, that was taken over in 1967, and most of its ancient Arabic and Islamic buildings were demolished before Islamic constructed the Jewish Neighborhood”, the Foundation said, “Israel also demolished ancient Islamic archeological sites, residencies and public structures, including a mosque and the al-Afdaliyya School”.
The demolished structures were built in the later stages of the Omayyad era, and during the Abbasid era, the Mamluk era, the Ayyoubi era, and the Ottoman era.
“Israel is trying to void the Islamic culture, history and archeology, that extended for 1,400 years”, the Foundation said. “Israel is trying to void an Arabic history that dates back to thousands of years, during the Canaanite and Yabousy eras”.
The foundation called this a “massacre targeting the Arab and Islamic history and culture in occupied Jerusalem, especially in the area adjacent to the al-Aqsa Mosque”, and strongly denounced the silence of Arab and International institutions that are failing to intervene in stopping the Israeli violations against the Arab and Islamic archeological sites in Jerusalem.
Haaretz published on June 15 a picture taken by a German war plane flying over the al-Aqsa mosque in 1931, clearly showing a mosque and al-Afdaliyya School in the al-Boraq Wall area that were completely destroyed and removed by Israel in 1967. In 2007, the al-Aqsa Foundation published an ancient picture of the al-Magharba neighborhood clearly showing the dome of the mosque in al-Afdaliyya school.
The Afdaliyya School was built by King al-Afdal Nour ed-Deen Ali, the son of Salah ed-Deen al-Ayyoubi, more than 800 years ago in the al-Magharba neighborhood of Jerusalem. This medieval school was completely destroyed by Israel after it occupied East Jerusalem in June 1967.