Historic Islamic Architecture Demolished by Occupation- Al-Aqsa in Peril
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Historic Islamic Architecture Demolished by Occupation- Al-Aqsa in Peril

The Israeli occupation closed all entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City, barring anyone under the age of 45 from entering. This marked the arrival of Occupation bulldozers which are removing the ruins of Mamluk palaces and demolishing historic Muslim place in Bab Al-Maghrebi, the gate that connects two of the three most holy places for Muslims, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque, with what is called among all Arabs “Haet al Buraq”, and which is now known as the Wailing Wall. These places of course are not only of great historical importance to Muslims, but to world heritage as well.

People from all over Palestine gathered the previous day at al-Aqsa mosque to prevent the demolitions. According to participants, Occupation forces began preparing at 07:30 a.m. The demolition preparation started after the Occupation court permitted widening the road leading to al-Haram ash-Sharif, instead of the historic bridge to the Maghrebi Gate.

The ruins below the Maghrebi Gate that will be removed are part of the wall around al-Haram ash-Sharif, and are the only ruins remaining from the Mamluk period in the south-west part of the mosque. This area is located in a now-demolished Moroccan neighborhood, which was re-named after the 1967 War “the Jewish neighborhood”. Removing those ruins not only destroys unique cultural heritage but will allow opening an access tunnel to the areas below al-Aqsa mosque. These works are part of continuing attempts by the Occupation authorities to undermine the foundation of the mosque.

The Occupation thus forced a full closure on the Old City of Jerusalem; police and special forces installed checkpoints to prevent private persons and media from entering. Numerous Palestinian and Muslim authorities condemned this latest destruction by the Occupation of Palestinian cultural heritage and Muslim religious sites. This step is clearly intended to provoke and insult the people in Palestine and in the Arab and the Muslim worlds. It is further part of the Zionist plans to “Judaize” Jerusalem at the expense of other heritages.

Due to heavy rain, removal of the ruins has been temporarily delayed, but remains imminent.

At the same time, the Occupation prepares to build a synagogue overlooking the Old City, and located in the middle of the historic Palestinian neighbourhood of Ras al-Amoud. They further want to expand a settlement that is already constructed on Palestinian land in the area.