Rabat al-Kurd: Where the “Little Kotel” Fits into the Plan to Judaize Jerusalem

15.02.11 – 15:47

Jerusalem – Maysa Abu Ghazala – PNN/Exclusive – Rabat al-Kurd has stood in relative silence near the Iron Gate and al-Aqsa Mosque for years. It is the foundation for several homes in danger of collapse. Now Jewish worshippers have begun to dug under the site to create “Little Kotel,” an extension of the Western Wall.


(PNN Archive)

Rabat al-Kurd, part of the Shihabi Enclosure named for the Shihabi family that first inhabited it, is known as one of the most important neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem, one of the only exposed sections of the western wall of al-Aqsa Mosque. It has withstood a number of assaults by the Israeli occupation, including the digging of a tunnel underneath it in the 1970s.

Head of the High Islamic Council

Sheikh Ukrama Sabri of the High Islamic Council describes Rabat al-Kurd as “an indispensable part of al-Aqsa Mosque.” He says it has adjoined the wall since the year 1293 and is under the protection of the Isalmic waqf (religious endowments authority). The assault on it, he claims, is an assault on al-Aqsa Mosque and the waqf itself.

“The removal of the iron foundations from under the Shihabi Enclosure is designed to obliterate the Islamic face of the city and give preference to Judaism,” he explains. “This is despite the fact that the Jews do not have heritage or history in Jerusalem. They want to hunt down and steal the Islamic heritage, to counterfeit and fabricate and twist history. They want to create something new put of Rabat al-Kurd.”

Sabri denounces the digging under Rabat al-Kurd, saying such is “the responsibility of all Arabs and Muslims,” that there is no solution except the end of the occupation. He demands a strategy to protect Jerusalem and implement the decisions held at a recent summit in Libya.

“We read in the papers about Moskovich the Jew,” said Sabri, referring to a rich American Jewish patron of illegal settlement in East Jerusalem. “Where is the Arab Moskovich to rescue Jerusalem?”

Chief of Heritage and Manuscripts at al-Aqsa

Digging deeper into the history of Rabat al-Kurd, says Dr. Najeh Bakeerat, the head of the Manuscripts and Heritage department at al-Aqsa Mosque and head of the al-Aqsa Heritage Academy, one will find that the neighborhood is named after al-Sayfi Kurd, a local appraiser and head of an Egyptian monastery.

The currently standing two-storey building was used as a guesthouse for pilgrims who had come to al-Aqsa, like Rabat al-Mansouri during the Mamluk period and Rabat al-Mugharib near the Morocco Gate.

“To turn Rabat al-Kurd into this Little Kotel prayer area is very dangerous for the Morocco Gate,” says Bakeerat. “The Israeli authority closed the way from the Morocco Gate and they want to close the way from the Iron Gate. By that I mean all the area between the Chain Gate, the Cotton Gate, and al-Matahara, including the al-Tankaziya school.”

Al-Bakeerat thinks Rabat al-Kurd will be turned into an army checkpoint from which Zionist expansion near the west side of al-Aqsa will be inevitable. He insists it is not an issue of Rabat al-Kurd’s iron foundations, but one of Judaization in “Kotel Katan.”

PNN – Palestine News Network – Rabat al-Kurd: Where the “Little Kotel” Fits into the Plan to Judaize Jerusalem.

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