Israeli flag raised above Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A general view from the tower of the Church of Redeemer shows the Dome of the Rock mosque and the cross of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem, on February 17, 2014 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]A general view from the tower of the Church of Redeemer shows the Dome of the Rock mosque and the cross of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem, on February 17, 2014.

Defying the international will and in spite of UNESCO’s decision to preserve Jerusalem’s holy sites, Israel has stepped up attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Jerusalem. Earlier this week, Israel angered the international community by razing Muslim graves in occupied East Jerusalem.

They have now also raised the Israeli flag at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi. Arab-Israeli Knesset member Jamal Zahalka, joined by other MKs, demanded the Israeli flag to be lowered. He denounced the move in a speech before the Knesset and reiterated that raising the Israeli flag is an illegal attempt to impose a fait accompli in Jerusalem.

Observers have denounced Israel, highlighting that the erasure of Muslim and Christian religious sites and cultural heritage in Jerusalem not only reflects a lack of respect for both the Muslim and Christian Palestinian communities, but it also underlines Israel’s wider intention to erase the non-Jewish heritage of the occupied territories.

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