Israeli bulldozers demolished historic Islamic sites dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman eras in occupied Jerusalem on June 26.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said that Israel’s Archaeological Authority has been destroying ancient Islamic sites over the last 5 years during excavations in al-Buraq, 100m west of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Some of the demolished sites are a mosque and a school building dating back to the Umayyad era.
The area is part of the Moroccan Quarter that was mostly demolished by Israel on June 11, 1967, after Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation said its teams repeatedly visited the site and examined documents and photos documenting the Israeli violations.
The Foundation said, “The occupation is demolishing ancient sites, Islamic historic sites and structures, and claiming that it found archaeological Jewish sites underneath. Israel is planning to build a huge Jewish Centre, including five underground floors.”
According to the Foundation, Israeli Archaeological Authority excavated 1500 m2 in an area west of al-Buraq Wall between 2005 and 2009
The demolished structures were built in the later stages of the Umayyad era, and during the Abbasid era, the Mamluk era, the Ayyubi era and the Ottoman era.
“Israel is trying to void the Islamic culture, history and archaeology, that extended for 1,400 years,” the Foundation said. “Israel is trying to void an Arabic history that dates back to thousands of years, during the Canaanite and Yabousy eras.”
Haaretz published on June 15 a picture taken by a German war plane flying over the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1931, clearly showing a mosque and al-Afdaliyya School in the al-Buraq Wall area that were completely destroyed and removed by Israel in 1967. In 2007, the Al-Aqsa Foundation published an ancient picture of the al-Magharba neighbourhood clearly showing the dome of the mosque in al-Afdaliyya school.
The Afdaliyya School was built by King al-Afdal Nour ed-Deen Ali, the son of Salah al Din al-Ayyubi, more than 800 years ago in the al-Magharba neighbourhood of Jerusalem. This school was completely destroyed by Israel after it occupied East Jerusalem in June 1967.