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Foundation: Bulldozers enter cemetery in Beersheba

Aug. 21, 2010 9:22 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 22, 2010 11:33 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said Friday that Israeli bulldozers entered a Muslim cemetery in Beersheba's Old City, razing tombstones to make way for a commercial complex, a statement read.

The foundation described the demolitions in what residents call the Turkish Cemetery as a violation of sanctity and said it will "urgently seek to stop the violation and strive to prevent the building of the commercial complex on the cemetery's land."

The statement said foundation member Farhoud As-Sayed spoke with the Israel Antiquities Authority inspector monitoring the bulldozing, who reportedly said "we know there are a few [Muslim] graves and we have maps that confirm their location. We are aware of them, but the bulldozing with not include them." The official added that the Beersheba Municipality provided all the necessary permits for the demolitions, according to the Waqf.

The report follows demonstrations on Wednesday against the destruction of several tombstones and grave markers by the Jerusalem Municipality in the 12th century Maman Allah cemetery.

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