BEIRUT (AFP) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group slammed Israel for allowing the construction of a Museum of Tolerance on the site of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, in a statement received by AFP on Sunday.
Hezbollah issues “its strongest condemnation for the desecration of a historic Islamic cemetery in occupied Jerusalem permitted by the (Israeli) enemy by allowing an American company to build a museum on the site,” the statement said.
The Shiite group called for Arab, Muslim and international action to put an end to these “racist and inhumane” practices.
“They cannot transform the original identity of the sacred city from its original Palestinian identity,” the statement added.
The Israeli High Court on Wednesday rejected appeals by two Muslim organisations which complained that the museum would be built over part of an ancient Muslim cemetery.
The Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, has called the court ruling a “grave decision” which “harms the Muslim holy sites.”
He said it was difficult to believe the project’s promoters would want to build a Museum of Tolerance “whose construction constitutes an act of aggression.”
The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre is the main promoter of the museum, designed by renowned US architect Frank Gehry.
“Moderation and tolerance have prevailed,” said Rabbin Marvin Hier, the dean of the centre, following the court’s decision.