Palestinian Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Israeli occupation authorities on Friday gave orders for the demolition of seven graves where Palestinians were buried in AlBurj village, southwest of AlKhalil city (Hebron).
Israeli occupation forces broke into AlBurj cemetery and posted a demolition notice targeting seven tombs of members of the Talahmeh and Faqih families.
The demolition order was issued on claims the tombs are being built in Area C. The cemetery, which sits on a plot of land that belongs to the Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs.
Cemetry vandalism by Israeli settlers and occupation forces is routine across the occupied Palestinian territories. At the same time, Israel demolishes Palestinian houses and structures almost on a daily basis as a means to achieve “demographic control” of the occupied territories.
Israel denies planning permits for Palestinians to build on their own land or to extend existing houses to accommodate natural growth, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.
In contrast, Israel argues that building within existing colonial settlements is necessary to accommodate the “natural growth” of settlers. Therefore, it much more easily gives the over 700,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.
Soldiers in the oxymoronically named Civil Administration, the name Israel gives to the body administering its military occupation of the West Bank, determine where Palestinians may live, where and when they may travel (including to other parts of the occupied territories like Gaza and East Jerusalem), whether they can build or expand homes on their own land, whether they own that land at all, whether an Israeli settler can takeover that land among others.