The burning of al-Noor mosque in Barqa village in Ramalla and al-Birah Province on the hands of a terrorist group of the Jewish settlers on Thursday December 15, 2011, was a ring of a chain of complete systematic attacks on Palestinian mosques so as to finally Judaize them.
The successive Israeli governments had sought to counterfeit and Judaize the Arabic and Islamic landmarks , with mosques on the forefront. Observers of the Israeli policies regarding mosques notice that they are planned and deliberate. They had been planned in the first Zionist conference held in Basel in Switzerland at the end of August 1979.
They included the Judaization of the Palestinian mosques. The Zionist organization sought from the beginning to control the Islamic lands. In 1948, the area on the Islamic charitable endowments' lands use to be 178,677 acres.
The Israeli authorities have planned after this year to Juadize these lands and properties, and this was executed through specific policies including, dissolving the Supreme Islamic Council and the Islamic endowment committee. It has also issued unfair laws so as to control the Palestinian lands, including the so called law of absentees' properties, which enabled the Israeli authorities to control the endowment properties.
An Israeli Development Authority has been established and it seized the Islamic endowments, through buying these from the curator of the absentees' properties, putting the greatest part of the Islamic endowments under the development authority.
With the continuation of the burning process within the green line and on the west bank. The Israeli army also supports a terrorist group, directing the process, which is called Sharat al-Thaman "the badge of price", which ensures the Zionist insistence on the idea of establishing a Jewish state by the Judaization of the mosques.
State of the mosques inside the '48 area
The previous Israeli policies were a preamble for the Judaization of mosques inside the green zone. The Zionist course has been consolidated by a Zionist law issued in 1953, which justified the sales by the absentee's curators to the development authority, so as to legalize the confiscation of the properties and the Islamic endowments.
Within a short period the Israeli occupation authority managed between 1948- 1967 to abolish and destroy 130 mosques in the area where Israel has been established.
These mosques constitute 41.5 % of the overall mosques in the green zone which amounted to 313 mosques. In addition to this about 8400 Arabic- Islamic landmarks are faced by Israeli forgery and destruction.
Among the steps that are followed by the Israeli authorities for Judaization of Islamic holy sites, with the mosques in forefront of them is the large-scale campaign that affected a great number of mosques and Islamic cemeteries inside the green zone.
Beersheba mosque and the Safad mosques which are in the Palestinian Galilee have been changed into museums. The Israeli authorities have changed Caesarea village's mosque on Haifa coast into a saloon for the Jewish youth. Dhahir al-Omer mosque in Tiberias in the upper Galilee has been changed into a restaurant, while Ain Haud, which is a few meters from the residents, has been changed into a Jewish night ballroom.
In Haifa town the Israeli army has changed the independence cemetery into a residential area. There are also attempts by the Israeli corporation since the seventies of the last century to destroy the cemetery of the Balad al-Sheikh village in south east of Haifa on the foot hill of Jabal (mount) al-Karmal.
, where there is the tomb of the great martyr Izz al-Din al-Qasam, who had been martyred in Ahraj Ya'bod in Jenin District in November 1935. He is the fighter who founded the Great Palestinian Revolution in 1936.
The Israeli attempts have not stopped there but they had dug a number of Islamic cemeteries in Acca, Jaffa and al-Agdhia in an attempt to Judaize the area.
In addition to the policy of destruction and removal of cemeteries and mosques, under security excuses and other justifications, the army has changed the mosques that it could not demolish inside the green zone into Jewish Synagogues.
Specialized studies pointed out that the Israeli army has changed 14 mosques to Jewish Synagogues, and prevented the Muslims from praying in 19 mosques, which had also been changed on the hands of the Israeli army into places for gambling, restaurants or pig or sheep barns. This is evident in al-Basah and Ain al-Zaiton mosques in Safad town. There are 50 mosques and shrines which are either closed, neglected or threatened with demolition and removal.
In general the mentioned mosques don't exceed 10 % of the Palestinian mosques that had been demolished since the establishment of Israel 63 years ago (1948-2011. )
Attempts of Judaization of mosques in the West Bank
The frequency of attacks on mosques increased in the West Bank since the beginning of 2010. Its severity also increased in the year 2011; where dozens of mosques were attacked, burned and destroyed in cities and villages in the West Bank. Most recent of these is the burning of the first and second floor of Nour mosque in the village of Burqa in the district of Ramalla and al-Beerah at dawn on Thursday, December 15, 2011. Only a day before that Akasha mosque was burned in the city of Jerusalem.
The Judaization process is definitely not limited to the green zone. It went beyond that towards the West Bank, when after the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Israel didn't stop the policy of demolishing and Judaization of the Arab and Muslims holy places as well as certain holy places. Over 4 decades of occupation repeated attacks had been launched against the al-Aqsa and Hebron mosques. The most prominent attack was the attempt of burning al-Aqsa in 1969 and the Hebron massacre in 1993.
Ways to protect mosques
After this review of the Israeli policy regarding the holy Islamic places in Palestine, on the forefront of them the mosques, which dozens of them had been destroyed as well as changing the names of some holy places.
There also attempts of the Israelis for the Judaization of the rest of them. It is very important to accelerate the protection of Islamic holy sites in Palestine. The mosques come in the forefront of them, whether they are within the green zone or in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, its historical holy landmarks as well as the city of Hebron.
The Arabic and Islamic discourse need be unified in the face of the Israeli policies that threaten the Palestinian history. The concerned international organizations should be called upon to preserve the holy worship and places and to pressure Israel to comply by the international resolutions and norms regarding the holy and historical sites.
It should be noted that the holy Islamic and Christian sites in Palestine are termed either archaeologies or places of worship. They get special attention and superior legal protection guaranteed by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as the Hague Conventions of 1906.
It should be pointed out that the process of burning and destroying mosques in Palestine by Jewish settlers with direct support of the Israeli institutions is, in every sense a disrespect and an insult to all Muslims in the world. These Zionist acts towards mosques are also a violation to the international norms and conventions for the protection of religious symbols in areas under occupation. This of course applies to the Palestinian territories, mosques and the other holy places as well.