Palestinians on this village undergo each day settler raids of Muslim shrines

RAMALLAH, West Financial institution — On the night of March 10, Israeli troopers prevented Issam Abu Yaacoub, mayor of Kifl Haris, a village positioned in Salfit governorate within the northern West Financial institution, from accessing his village via the primary avenue and demanded he take a bypass street as a result of the settlers had raided the village.

Every time the settlers raid the village, the Israeli military imposes a complete curfew and deploys a lot of troopers and automobiles in preparation for the entry of settlers that lasts till daybreak. 

Kifl Haris has 4,500 residents and stretches over a floor space of ​​about 10,000 dunams (2,471 acres). It accommodates three outstanding Muslim shrines, specifically the shrine of Prophet Dhu al-Kifl, the shrine of Yusha ibn Nun and the shrine of Dhul-Nun (Prophet Jonah). The three shrines date again to the interval of Salahuddin al-Ayoubi and are characterised by the Islamic architectural model of the domes and prayer niches.

Abu Yaacoub informed Al-Monitor that the settlers, below the safety of the Israeli military, have raided the village for years; each time they accomplish that, the troopers are deployed within the streets and on the roofs of homes to guard the settlers.

He famous that in the latest raid, on March 10, the settlers threw stones at homes in addition to automobiles parked on the facet of the roads. Additionally they punctured automobile tires, broke water meters and broken gravestones, overturned rubbish containers within the streets and broke the memorial of Ibrahim Abu Yaqoub, a village resident who was killed by the Israeli military in July 2020 as he was strolling along with his associates at the doorway of the village. 

Abu Yaacoub famous that an Israeli patrol is stationed each 20 meters (66 ft) alongside the 1-kilometer-long (0.6-mile) street stretching from the primary entrance to the village as much as the shrines. Such measures stay in place till daybreak, he stated, including that settlers raid the village whereas dancing and screaming over their loudspeakers within the streets, stopping the residents from sleeping. 

The shrine of Prophet Dhu al-Kifl is probably the most outstanding one within the village. In line with standard narratives, Kifl’s grave lies within the village that is called after him. The municipality’s director normal, Abdel Rahim Omar, informed Al-Monitor that Kifl’s shrine consists of two adjoining rooms. The primary is surrounded by a small yard and a door resulting in the prophet’s headstone, and the second consists of an Islamic architectural model dome serving as a prayer corridor. There’s an inscription on its door indicating that it was inbuilt 1234, together with a Quranic verse, he added.

Omar stated at particular instances the shrine welcomes guests to carry out prayers and honor vows. 

The shrine of Yusha ibn Nun, positioned within the heart of the village, is probably the most visited by the settlers, in response to Omar. He defined that the shrine is initially a Muslim shrine that was constructed throughout the Salahuddin al-Ayoubi interval, and that the architectural model of its domes and prayer niches are proof of that.

Omar famous that historic data was engraved on an alabaster stone positioned on the shrine, akin to its development date, in addition to the Throne Verse. However, he stated, a collaborator who spied for Israel stole the stone within the Nineteen Fifties.

As for the shrine of Prophet Jonah, it consists of a big open house tomb shrine. In line with standard narratives, it’s the grave of Prophet Jonah, which consists of a yard and prayer room the place the feminine residents of the village pray, particularly in Ramadan.

Montaser Moussa, director of the tourism and antiquities division within the Salfit governorate, informed Al-Monitor that the settlers raid the Muslim shrines within the village below the pretext that the physique of Joshua is present in a cave below the shrine of Yusha ibn Nun. They’re utilizing biblical tales to put claims, he stated.

He famous that these shrines date again to the Ayyubid dynasty, following Saladin’s victory over the Crusaders and the liberation of Jerusalem. They had been constructed for the celebration of victories, and efficiency of prayers and Sufi rituals.

Atef Youssef, assistant undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Islamic Endowments, informed Al-Monitor that the shrines’ domes are constructed in response to the Islamic architectural model and the prayer niches face towards Mecca.

Youssef added, “The Jews don’t have anything to do with these shrines. Their claims are false allegations.”

Commenting on the presence of tombs within the shrines, he stated, “The one factor confirmed is the place the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad is. There are a number of claims in regard to the place the tomb of Prophet Jonah is. Its location is unconfirmed. But no nation claims that the tomb of Prophet Dhu al-Kifl is positioned on their land, apart from Kifl Haris.” 

After Jerusalem, Salfit is the second governorate to be focused probably the most by settlers within the West Financial institution, notably within the village of Kifl Haris, the place the Israeli authorities used a big portion of the southern a part of its lands to construct the Trans-Samaria Freeway. Additionally they positioned a gate and a everlasting watchtower at its important entrance, and expanded the Ariel settlement, which is among the largest settlements within the West Financial institution, on the village’s expense.

The Palestinians consider that the settlers’ claims to the Muslim shrines within the village goal to confiscate extra lands and annex them to different lands settlers already stole below numerous pretexts. 

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