The Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Har HaMenuchot

Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi has found a proper burial site for a Palestinian scorned by Muslims because he sold land to Jews. 

By: United with Israel Staff

Alla’ Qirresh, one of six Palestinians killed in a deadly car crash on Israel’s Route 90 earlier this month, was refused burial in Jerusalem’s central Muslim cemeteries because he allegedly sold property in the city to Jews.

Palestinian law prohibits Palestinians from selling land to anyone connected to Israel in any way.

Seeking to find a final resting place for the car accident victim and hearing about the family’s plight, Jerusalem’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern issued a unique ruling approving Qirresh’s burial at a special plot for those without religious faith at Har HaMenuchot, Jerusalem’s main Jewish cemetery, Ynet News reported Sunday.

Rabbi Stern explained that since the Muslims were unwilling to bury him, “we must do something and right this wrong done to a man disgraced simply for his willingness to sell land to Jews. We must give very positive treatment to righteous gentiles, and in this case this is someone who showed good will and was even willing to take a risk.”

Jerusalem Arabs tormented the family of the car accident victim during their moments of grief because he committed the “great sin” of selling land to Jews.

While the remaining five victims were hailed by Palestinians in Jerusalem as Shahids (martyrs) and received a joint funeral attended by thousands, Qirresh’s body was not allowed into the Al-Aqsa Mosque or into Jerusalem’s other large mosques, and his name was not included in the obituary announcements of the incident.

When Qirresh’s family brought his body to Al-Aqsa Mosque for burial, they were chased away. They tried other locations where they were likewise blocked, and at one location the commotion developed into a violent scuffle.

He has since been temporarily buried outside the cemetery in Nabi Saleh in Samaria.

“We will do everything to bring Ala’a Qirresh to a proper burial, and we will not allow a man to be disrespected in this manner, whether he is Arab or Jewish,” said Baruch Yadid,  head of the Palestinian desk of the Zionist Im Tirtzu NGO, to Ynet. “The freedom of expression, the freedom of property and the freedom of religion have all been hurt in this unfortunate case, and we must right this wrong.”

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