Israel steals rocks from Al Aqsa Mosque, inflict serious damage to history and global heritage

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 04 July 2017| 09 Shawaal 1438

The Israeli occupation authorities have stolen historic rocks — regarded as sacred by the Palestinians — from Al Aqsa Mosque of Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem, Arab residents said.

Jerusalemites are now calling on international institutions to force Israel to return the rocks untouched.

Fakhri Abu Diyab, who heads the local committee in defence of occupied Jerusalem, said the Israelis have removed huge rocks from underground passageways of the Al Buraq Wall, Al Magharebah Bridge and Al Buraq Plaza, and shifted them to an unknown place.

Abu Diyab said police had been keeping a careful watch on the rocks at Al Buraq Wall Gate, and even Jerusalemites were not allowed to get close or take pictures of them.

Abu Diyab managed to take pictures of the aftermath of the incident, which caused traffic jams in the crowded area, and said a case would now be filed against the Israeli occupation authorities.

“History and universal heritage are at serious risk, and stealing these rocks from the holy shrine strictly violates all international agreements and conventions,” Abu Diyab told Gulf News.

He said the Israeli occupation authorities replaced the rocks with steel constructions but this still posed a serious danger to the structural integrity of Al Haram Al Sharif — Muslims’ third holiest place.

Abu Diyab said the Israelis were expected to modify the scripts on the rocks to establish a Talmudic narrative in a bid to demonstrate their historic connection to the area. The rocks would then be returned to their original places in the holy shrine.

Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem during the Middle East Six-Day War. It wants an undivided Jerusalem as its eternal capital. Palestinians claim this part of the holy city as the capital of their future state.

The fate of Jerusalem was the key issue which caused the collapse of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israeli in April 2014.

Since October 2015, outbreaks of violence have been rocking the Palestinian territories and Israel, leaving more than 400 Palestinians,40 Israelis and three foreigners dead.

Palestinians believe that far right Jewish groups have been trying to expand Jewish worshiping rights in the holy shrine. According to a decades-old agreement, Jews are allowed to visit the site but strictly banned from praying there.

Source – Gulf news