Israeli settler spray-painted racist, anti-Arab slogans, on the al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy), one of the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates, on Tuesday, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that one Israeli settler raided the eastern part of Bab al-Rahma cemetery and spray painted racist, anti-Arab slogans on the wall.
Israeli police detained the settler and took him for interrogation to an Israeli police station near the Lions Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.
In 2015, the Bab al-Rahma cemetery was subject to demolitions after Israeli authorities announced plans to seize parts of the cemetery for a national park trail in 2015.
While Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, according to Palestinians and the international community, the city has remained an intricate part of the occupied Palestinian territory and would be considered the capital of any future Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.
The fate of Jerusalem and its holy sites has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem.
The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution in July 2017 reaffirming the international body’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, and condemned Israeli policies in the Old City.
The resolution referred to Israel as an “occupying power” in East Jerusalem, and stated that UNESCO “regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.”[source: Maan News]