Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Independent Arabia writes:
For years , the Israeli authorities have not stopped erecting what the Palestinians call “mock tombs” for settlers in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, as a means to confiscate the lands built over them on the grounds that they are old cemeteries , according to the residents of the area.

The Palestinians say that "creating fake graves is a way to confiscate the land, because it is not legal to object to that."

These "fake graves" are concentrated in the town of Silwan, which is adjacent to the southern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in the neighborhoods of Wadi Al-Rababa and Wadi Hilweh in the town that the settlement associations are working to Judaize and expel the Palestinians from.

Witnesses said that "the Israeli authorities are working to create a hole 35 cm deep with a diameter of 40 cm, then pour cement over it, and an old stone is placed on top of it, surrounded by old dirt to suggest that the graves are hundreds of years old ."

The witnesses added that the Israeli authorities are currently working on creating hundreds of fake graves in the Wadi al-Rababa area in the town of Silwan.

However, an Israeli official in the Ministry of Jerusalem said that erecting these graves comes to "preserve the old grave [markers] that were removed by torrential rains and the ravages of time, or by Palestinians."

They've made this claim before, and once even put it in a draft UNESCO resolution.  

An left-wing Israeli NGO, Emek Shaveh, works against Israel taking over important archaeological sites. But it had a detailed page on the graves of the Valley of Hinnom/ Wadi Rababa area and how important they are to Jewish history. Excerpts:

The entire area served for burials over thousands of years. 

The area contains many tombs excavated into the rocks, where dozens of people were buried over different periods.   Burial styles and other findings allow us to date the earliest ones to the end of the Judean Kingdom (7-8th Century BCE), and show continuous burials up to the Byzantine period (4-7th Centuries CE).  Along the road that runs from Abu Tur to the valley one can see a number of graves from the Judean kingdom.  Additional graves from that period are found in privately-owned land belonging to residents of Abu-Tur.

In the course of digging in the Valley of Hinnom Shoulder/Ras a-Dabus, where the Begin Center is currently located, archaeologists unearthed a silver scroll dated to the 7th Century BCE with an inscription of a section from the Priestly Blessing, a prayer which was familiar in biblical times and is still recited in synagogues to this day.  This is a rare and unique find that testifies to the continuity of prayer traditions over thousands of years.

A set of excavated family tombs dated to the First Century CE are located near the [Onuphrius] convent.  These are luxury tombs composed of several rooms with carved burial niches.  These structures and the ossuaries (sand-stone chests) within them are evidence of a burial style practiced by Jerusalem area Jews at the time of the Second Temple.  Inscriptions found on some of the tombs and the ossuaries support this claim.  The tombs’ wealth and their presence on this slope testify to the centrality of Jerusalem and of the temple.  Pilgrims from throughout the ancient world made their way to Jerusalem, and the rich among them invested a great deal of money to purchase burial grounds and build opulent family graves.[3]  The graves served these families over several generations.  Inscriptions found on some of the graves include names that appear to belong to families originating outside Jerusalem, such as the cave of the Ariston family, which was based in Apamea, Syria.

This article detailing the existence of hundreds of thousands of Jewish graves from as early as the 8th century BCE was written in 2013, so it pre-dates the claims that the graves are fake. 

Ironically, of course, Palestinians have themselves been caught red handed creating fake graves in Jerusalem. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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