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In video - Israeli settlers perform rituals at Bab al-Rahma cemetery

Dec. 10, 2018 3:06 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 10:53 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers performed religious rituals at the eastern side of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Monday, as dozens others raided the compound on the last day of the Jewish Hanukkah Holiday.

Firas al-Dibs, head of the Public Relations and Media Department at the Islamic Endowment, told Ma’an that a group of Israeli settlers raided the Bab al-Rahma cemetery adjacent to Al-Aqsa walls from its eastern side.

Al-Dibs warned of the danger of continuous raids to the Bab al-Rahma Cemetery.

He added that the cemetery is considered one of the most known Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem; the cemetery has a space of 23 dunams. The Israeli authorities have been attempting to control the cemetery through excavation works and cutting down trees.

Al-Dibs also said that 127 Israeli settlers raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, On Monday morning, via the Moroccans Gate.

In 2015, the Bab al-Rahma cemetery was subject to demolitions after Israeli authorities announced plans to seize parts of the cemetery for a national park trail in 2015.

While Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, according to Palestinians and the international community, the city has remained an intricate part of the occupied Palestinian territory and would be considered the capital of any future Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.

The fate of Jerusalem and its holy sites has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the "Judaization" of East Jerusalem.

The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution in July 2017 reaffirming the international body's non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, and condemned Israeli policies in the Old City.

The resolution referred to Israel as an "occupying power" in East Jerusalem, and stated that UNESCO "regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law."

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