After months of hiding it with a cover, the Israeli occupation municipality of occupied Jerusalem town of Beit Safafa forced its Palestinian residents to remove the golden dome of the Al-Rahman Mosque on Wednesday, June 14, to “shorten its height and change its golden color to silver.”
The Beit Safafa mayor Mohammad Elayan said the Israeli settlers previously went to the municipality and filed a lawsuit against Al-Rahman Mosque, to remove the dome.
Previously, far-right Israeli settler organizations went to the occupation municipality in the city, demanding “the immediate demolition of the dome, so that the area does not become an honorable sanctuary, and Jerusalem does not become a holy city.”
Elayan added, “As a kind of continuous incitement against the dome, the occupation municipality forced the people of the town and those in charge of the mosque to demolish and remove it, but we rejected the decision and submitted an objection, considering that the mosque is a red line and its dome cannot be relinquished.”
The mosque has existed for more than a century on a Palestinian land of approximately 300 square meters. Years ago, it was restored and facilities were built for it, so settlers protested under the pretext that its dome resembles the Dome of the Rock.
Last year, the municipality notified Palestinians of the demolition of the dome after it was restored, under the pretext of building without a permit.
“We tried to obtain building permits for the mosque, especially the second floor, under the pretext that the building is illegal, but the municipality put obstacles. We continued to communicate with it to solve this issue and stop the demolition and remove the dome,” Eleyyan said.
Almost a third of the Palestinian homes in Jerusalem were built without permits because the Israeli occupation denied their owners the permits to construct, while it facilitate building for settlers.
So far in 2023, Israeli occupation forces have demolished 136 Palestinian homes and structures, 64 of which have been demolished under the pretext of building without a permit, according to the Palestinian Information Center Ma’ta.