Arabs scuffled with police near the Yusufiya Cemetery near the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, as they gathered near a fenced off area where gardening work is taking place next to illegally placed graves.
من أمام المقبرة هذه اللحظات.. قوات الاحتلال تعتدي وتقمع الأهالي المتواجدين في محيط المقبرة اليوسفية pic.twitter.com/7QPvEfQTwL— AlQastal القسطل (@AlQastalps) October 29, 2021
Israel Police stated that dozens of rioters threw stones at police officers at the site and police and Border Police responded with riot dispersal measures. Seven suspects were arrested while throwing stones and rioting and were transferred for further questioning. One police vehicle was damaged by stones thrown by rioters.
Police fired tear gas and used riot dispersal methods to disperse the crowd next to the cemetery. At least three Arabs were injured and transferred to a hospital for treatment, according to Palestinian reports.
Video shared on social media showed Arabs chanting "Khaybar, Khaybar O Jews, the army of Mohammed will return" towards police officers in front of the cemetery. The chant refers to the Battle of Khaybar in 628 CE, when Muslims, led by Muhammad, fought against the Jews there, eventually defeating and imposing a tax on them.
أحداث المقبرة اليوسفية اليوم/ ثريدخيبر خيبر يا يهـودجيش محمد سوف يعودمن هتاف المقدسيين هذه الأثناء أمام المقبرة اليوسفية وسط منع جنود الاحتلال لهم من الوصول إليها pic.twitter.com/4nXP554qdE— سُهَادْ (@itsnotsuhad) October 29, 2021
Arab residents of east Jerusalem claim that the gardening work at the site in east Jerusalem is damaging and desecrating the graves of their relatives, while the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority says that the graves were placed in the public land illegally, but that it would still not harm or touch the graves at all during the work being conducted.
Violent clashes have broken out at the site multiple times in the past month between Israeli security forces and Arab demonstrators, in light of the controversy surrounding the site.