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Israeli beer festival planned on Jerusalem Islamic cemetery Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli beer festival planned on Jerusalem Islamic cemetery

The beer festival will be held on a historical Palestinian cemetery appropriated by Israelis [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 August, 2016

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An Israeli beer festival will be held on an Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem.
Israeli companies have announced their intention to organise a beer festival on the historic Islamic cemetery of Mamilla in Jerusalem this week.

The festival was endorsed by the local Israeli authority who posted the event on their website. According to an announcement for the event, there will be around "120 different varieties of local and international beers on offer over two days."

The festival is organised on the territory of the Islamic cemetery Mamilla.

The Israeli governments have turned large parts of it into a public park under the name "Independence Park" after dredging and removing most of the graves which cover an area of more 200 acres.

In 2011, work was completed on a "Museum of Tolerence" which was built on the site by a Jewish Rights organisation in cooporation with the Israeli government.

Since the creation of the State of Israel, the Israeli government has worked to remove the graveyard from the heart of West Jerusalem. “In 1948, the year of Nakba, the catastrophe of the Palestinian people, the upper part was immediately transformed into a public park, renamed ‘Independence Park’, aimed at celebrating the victory in the ’48 war. They created the garden, uprooting and removing dozens of ancient tombs.” explains Nader Dajani to MondoWeiss last year.

Today, the graveyard has almost disappeared. A few ancient tombstones are relegated into the lower part, covered by grass and trash.

It’s not easy to estimate how many gravestones were located there but, according to one investigation by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, at least 1,500 tombs were removed by bulldozers and the human remains just thrown away.

“The Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have to ask the Israeli State for the permission to clean and take care of the cemetery,” Dajani said at the time. “And every time they refuse. If we come and do some work, after a while they destroy what we build to protect the tombs”.

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