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Jerusalem Municipality Issues Order To Halt Construction Of Illegal Mosque On Har Hazeisim

The Jerusalem Municipality, headed Mayor Nir Barkat, has issued a “Stop Order” on construction of a mosque a mere ten feet from the gravesite of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin on Har Hazeitim. The order, made public this afternoon, called for all those involved in the construction to “cease all building activity” at the site. The illegal construction is to expand the Ras al-Amud Mosque, much of it built illegally on Israeli land, which is part of the 3,000 year-old cemetery that includes some 100,000 graves.

The mayor’s order to halt construction comes in the wake of a letter sent last night by the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim to Mayor Barkat. In the letter, the Committee headed by Mr. Avrohom Lubinsky, a Brooklyn activist and businessman, noted that the situation on Har Hazeitim continues to deteriorate saying, “local Arabs have worked around the clock to complete this Mosque which will distort the Jerusalem the Prime Minister so cherished…Instead of the peace and tranquility that the sanctity of the area deserves, it will be violated by Muslim worshippers who will no doubt use the access roads to Har Hazeitim as a parking lot.” The letter firmly requested that mayor Barkat, “urgently put a stop to this ultimate desecration of our ancient cemetery, to the defilement of the burial site of a national leader, and to the total disregard for national and municipal laws.”

In addition to being built right near graves on Har Hazeitim, the expansion of the mosque would have meant that Arab worshippers would turn Har Hazeitim into a parking lot further denying mourners and visitors the respect normally accorded to people visiting a cemetery. It would have obstructed the view of the Jerusalem Mr. Begin so loved and cherished.

Mr. Lubinsky expressed the hope that the police in Jerusalem would move swiftly to enforce the order, putting a halt to the desecration of Har Hazeitim by seeing to it that the entire illegal structure is summarily dismantled. He said that the ICPHH in the US and Israel would continue to monitor the situation. Mr. Lubinsky added: “We congratulate the Mayor and the Municipality for taking this action and implore the police to quickly put an end to this shameful disregard for the holiest and oldest Jewish cemetery.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

3 Responses

  1. I was recently on Har HaZeisim. It is horrific to see the descecration of so many gravestones. Whoever has relatives buried should be especially concerned about the lack of law enforcement and the free hand that the vandals are given. There are graves with matzeivos completely removed or smashed into a number of pieces. We must raise an outcry – Har Hazeisim must be guarded by soldiers or police.

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