February 11, 2013
The Israeli occupation authorities have issued eviction and demolition notices on an apartment block in Jerusalem in which the city’s Grand Sheikh lives. Sixteen apartments and their owners will be affected by the move. Sheikh Ikrama Sabri is one of the Imams at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Sheikh told local media that the Israelis have given no reason for the demolition of the building. However, he believes that it is part of Israel’s “Judaisation” policy for the Holy City, which has seen the number of Palestinian buildings being demolished by the authorities increase recently.
According to Sheikh Sabri, the Israelis clearly want to remove all traces of Jerusalem’s indigenous Arab population. At the moment, Arabs and Muslims make up 36 per cent of the population of Jerusalem. “Israel plans to reduce this to 12 per cent by 2020,” said the eminent scholar.
He called on Arab and Islamic countries to support the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, especially with funds for housing projects to encourage them to resist Israel’s ethnic cleansing.
Copyright © 2013 Middle East Monitor.