Israeli forces, with the so-called ‘Nature Authority’, on Sunday, demolished 20 Palestinian tombs in occupied East Jerusalem’s Yousufeya Cemetery.The cemetery is located in the area of Lions’ gate, according to the Palestinian News Network (PNN), right next to the eastern wall of Al Aqsa Mosque, and were demolished under the pretext that the tombs were built on confiscated land.

Head of the Islamic cemetery welfare committee in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, condemned the actions, saying that the Martyrs’ Cemetery was an extension of Yousufeya Cemetery, in the Lions’ Gate, and that it purely qualifies as Islamic property.

Mr. Abu Zahra noted that the cemetery is a historical site in which hundreds of Palestinian martyrs are buried, and where a monument was clearly set. He added that the demolished tombs were built several months ago, but were as of yet unused.

Abu Zahra refuted Israeli claims, saying that the land is Palestinian property and does not need any licensing.

East Jerusalem is a part of the officially recognized Palestinian territories, illegaly occupied by Israel since 1967.

In addition to such actions, Palestinian graves and holy sites — both Christian and Muslim — have been subject to repeated desecration by Israeli settlers, over the years.

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