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February 13, 2016 / 4 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘mount of olives’

Arabs Continue to Destroy Jewish Graves on Mount of Olives [video]

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Yochanan Gol looks at his uncle’s tombstone in dismay. A huge black burnt circle marks his grave, remnants of a torching that has blacked out the date of his birth and passing. “This is the new tombstone that I had just purchased to replace the original that they smashed into bits,” he explained in an interview with Tazpit News Agency last week.

Gol’s uncle’s grave is among the dozen or so that have been defaced – either shattered or blackened by fire – in attacks on the Afghan Jewish section of the Mount of Olives cemetery by Palestinians from local neighborhoods nearby.  Plastic bags full of garbage and baby diapers can also be seen on the tombstones.

Broken tombstones

“Despite the attacks on the cemetery, my 89-year-old uncle wanted to be buried here,” said Gol. Gol’s uncle, Yitzhak made aliyah with the rest of the Gol family to Israel from Herat, Afghanistan in 1957.  “He wanted to be near his grandparents and his sister, who are also buried here.”

Less than a month after Gol’s uncle was buried on the Mount of Olives in April, his tombstone had been demolished.

After the vandalism occurred, Gol figured that the next tombstone had to be built in a way that would adapt to the circumstances. “We had the second tombstone built much closer to the ground and made sure that there weren’t any hollow areas between the marble stone and the ground. We also used thicker marble –  that way it couldn’t be smashed,” he explains.  “But they found another way to destroy the new one – by burning it.”

“I’ve been living here for 19 years on the Mount of Olives and these attacks are ongoing,” said Jerusalem city council member, Aryeh King to Tazpit News Agency. “This current attack is one of the worst that I’ve seen on this cemetery,” he said.

The Afghanistan Jewish section is the most heavily targeted burial ground in of all the Mount of Olives, according to King. “If anything like this happened to a Jewish cemetery elsewhere in the world, in Poland, Rome, or Paris, that would make headlines – but here it has become something regular, usual.”

The Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, with 150,000 to 200,000 graves that include ancient prophets, state leaders, revered rabbis, among other important figures and simple folk. They are buried in the different plots according to different origins that include Yemenite, North African, Persian, Babylonian, Georgian, Galicia, Ashkenazi, Hassidic, and others. For 3,000 years, the Mount of Olives has been the preferred site for burial because Jewish tradition dictates that the resurrection process during the Messianic days will take place on the mount.

King David’s son, Absalom is buried there as well as the prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi from Biblical times.

Jewish organizations bought the Afghan plot before 1948 according to Yochanan Gol, who is also a licensed tour guide. But the burial of Afghanistan Jews in the section owned by the Afghan Jewish Committee only took place after the Six Day War in 1967. “Since then, there’s been a history of destruction here,” Gol said. “It’s unbelievable that this happens in our own capital and country.”

However, under Jordanian rule, the destruction was much worse – massive and systematic desecration of the tombstones took place from 1948-1967.  The Jordanians erected a gas station on the ancient graves and also attempted to pave a road through the cemeteries. Some of the tombstones were used as paving stones for  Jordanian army camps and a new hotel. By 1967, around 38,000 tombstones had been smashed or damaged. Under Israeli rule, large sections of the cemetery have been rehabilitated and restored.

Moreover, Gol has not only had to deal with his uncle’s tombstone defacement but also with threats to his own security when travelling to the Mount of Olives. “Two weeks after the first visit to the tomb, we came again and some Arabs attacked me and my nephew. My vehicle was hit with stones and bottles and my car destroyed completely. We were lucky that we weren’t in the car at the time. I called the police and they chased after the perpetrators but couldn’t catch them.”

Indeed, visitors coming to pay respects to their loved ones often request security escorts provided by Israel’s Ministry of Housing and Construction during visits to the Mount of Olives. In addition to the tombstone vandalism, stone-throwing at cars and other attacks during funerals have been frequent occurrences over the years.

Following the continued tombstone vandalism and rock-throwing incidents, members of Israel’s Knesset last week called for stronger security measures throughout the mount.

“There is no law, no police,” said King. “This is the Wild West, or the Wild East and it has to stop.”

Updated: Three Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack, Ambulances and Mayor’s Car also Attacked

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Three police have been injured in Jerusalem after a car ran into them. The three were walking on the sidewalk when the car slammed into them.

The vehicular attack happened on the “Cohen’s Path” near Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives.

One is moderately injured with pelvic injuries, and the other two are lightly injured.

The police managed to shoot at the car.

Paramedics are on scene, and the injured are being transported to Sharei Tzedek hospital.

Mayor Nir Barkat’s car was stoned by Arabs in nearby Beit Orot, and the windshield was damaged.

Ambulances arriving at the scene to treat the wounded were also attacked.

Arabs in the area are currently rioting.

Police have found the car used in the attack, but the driver has escaped.

Mayor Nir Barkat arriving at scene of terror attack. Photo: Rotter.net / B'Mizrach Hatichon

Mayor Nir Barkat arriving at scene of terror attack.
Photo: Rotter.net / B’Mizrach Hatichon

Arabs Uproot Mount of Olives Headstones

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

On Friday, Arabs again entered the Mount of Olives cemetery, uprooted a number of headstones and threw them onto the road.

The damage was done to the “Afghanistan” section of the cemetery.

In addition, they attacked policemen stationed in the area with rocks.

The Mount of Olives is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world going back thousands of years.

On Saturday, Arabs threw stones in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon HaNatziv. When police arrived they were attacked too.

The police eventually dispersed the Arab attackers.

Snow, Lightning and Floods in Northern Israel in Photos

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Heavy snow closed the Hermon ski slopes and roads in the Golan Heights Friday morning, while residents in the coastal city of Nahariya, near the Lebanese border, are coping with floods that have made some roads impassable.

More than five inches of rain fell in Nahariya in the past 24 hours, and Netanya, between Haifa and Tel Aviv, has joined the growing club of communities that have received their annual average yearly amount of precipitation.

The Kinneret added another inch but still is 12 feet away from the level at which a dam would have to be opened to prevent flooding, which has not happened since the fierce winter in 1991-1992.

Kinneret watchers are counting on this week’s storm to raise the level significantly once mountain streams flow into the lake.

The storm literally divided the country, with the south remaining dry but cold under partly cloudy skies while the north is drenched.

The storm will reach its peak today and weaken on Shabbat.

Occasional rain may linger around on Sunday and Monday, followed by warm temperatures.

Weather models show that another storm system, with snow, may make its way to Israel by next Shabbat.

Waves smack the Mediterranean Coast on the shores of northwest Israel.

Waves smack the Mediterranean Coast on the shores of northwest Israel.

 

Lightning in the winter.

Lightning in the winter.

Haredim brave high winds at Har Zeitim (Mount of Olives) cemetery in Jerusalem.

Haredim brave high winds at Har Zeitim (Mount of Olives) cemetery in Jerusalem. Photo: Flash 90

HyperCacher Victims to be Buried in Israel

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

According to CRIF, the umbrella organization for Jew organizations in Paris, most likely the four victims of Friday’s terror attack in the Paris HyperCacher supermarket will be buried in Israel on the Mount of Olives.

Jeff Seidel, Yochanan Danziger Survive Terror Attack near Mt. of Olives

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

On Tuesday evening, Arabs ambushed a group of cars on the way to the Mount of Olives cemetery. The Arabs hurled cinder blocks and stones at the Jewish vehicles, injuring one person and causing heavy damage to at least two cars.

Th attack was so severe that unarmed soldiers, sitting in the second vehicle thought the people in the lead car, Yochanan Danziger and Jeff Seidel, were killed (which they were not, just to make that clear).

Both cars were on the way to a burial at the Mount of Olives cemetery, Danziger told The Jewish Press from the police station where he and Seidel were filing a complaint.

Danziger is a “Netzach Yehuda” rabbinic adviser for Ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Nahal Haredi Brigade, and Seidel is widely known for decades of his work at the Western Wall, bringing wandering Jewish backpackers closer to Judaism, or at least to a Friday night Shabbat meal.

The ambush, like dozens the past several years, occurred on a narrow street when two or three cars blocked traffic from moving so that Arab youths could pummel the cars with rocks and cinder blocks.

Danziger was treated at a Jerusalem hospital for glass in his eye.

Seidel was driving his 2006 Mazda, whose windows were smashed, while the sides of the car were smashed in.

“It was miracle we got out alive,” said Danziger. At one point, Seidel tried to turn into the locked parking lot of an Arab hospital, which would have given them a safe haven, but they were refused entry.

Seidel managed to continued driving slowly as Danziger and another passenger crouched on the floor. He managed to make a U-turn as older Arabs, who Danziger said were in their 40s, yelled at the youth to move away.

Seidel managed to drive his car to the police station, where he said the police were very understanding and said that the attackers “would pay a heavy price.” However, words are one thing and action is another.

During the attack, the victims were in contact with the police for several minutes until the connection was broken.

The police did not call back.

More Demolished Graves Discovered on Mount of Olives

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Nachi Eyal, who visited the Mount of Olives (Har Hazeitim) in Jerusalem today was shocked to find a number of desecrated gravestones.

“I was shocked to see the vandalism done to the tombstones on Har HaZeitim when I visited. I call on the Israeli government to repair the broken tombstones, and to return safety and security to Har HaZeitim”, said Nachi Eyal to Tazpit News Agency.

Tazpit News Agency attempted to clarify from the Director of Jewish Cemeteries in Jerusalem if the destruction was recent or left over from a previous vandalization, but no clarification was received by the time of publication.

The Mount of Olives is one of the oldest surviving Jewish cemeteries in the world, going back thousands of years.

It has been the repeated target of Arab attacks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/more-demolished-graves-discovered-on-mount-of-olives/2014/11/16/

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