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In a highly unusual ruling, one of Israel’s chief rabbis has allowed a Palestinian Arab man to be buried in a special plot, reserved for those without religious faith, in the Jewish Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem.
At issue is the decision of Aryeh Stern, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, to enable the West Bank-based family of Ala’a Qarash (also spelled Alah Kirsh) to bury him at the Jewish cemetery as an “exception” because the “Muslims themselves are unwilling to bury him” and he was a “righteous gentile” who “showed good will” to Jews.
Others - Qarash - November - Car - Accident
Along with five others, Qarash had been killed back on November 4th in a horrible car accident on Israel’s Highway 90 when a truck collided with a minibus. But Jerusalem’s grand mufti—Ekrima Sa’id Sabri—determined that Qarash didn’t deserve a proper burial at a Muslim site, including in the Muslim cemetery in the east Jerusalem where Qarash’s other family members are buried, because he had been suspected of allegedly selling real estate in that part of Israel’s capital city to Jews a few years ago.
For this supposed “traitorous crime” of selling property in Jerusalem to Jews, the family also wasn’t allowed by the Wakf, the Islamic trust that oversees day-to-day management of the Temple Mount, to bring Qarash’s body to the Al Aqsa mosque for a special prayer and they were reportedly “forbidden” by imams to pitch the customary mourner’s tent to receive guests and well-wishers.
Reason - Mosques - Jerusalem - Qarash - Service
For the same reason, other mosques in east Jerusalem refused to hold Qarash’s funeral service (his body has been temporarily interred outside the cemetery in Nabi Salih, a village near Ramallah in the West Bank).
It’s awful that a Palestinian family deep in grief would face these kinds of humiliations and obstacles from their own faith-based community, and its good to know that Israel’s...
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