Update: Supreme Court Appoints Mediator in Dispute over Museum Being Built on Muslim Graves

February 23, 2006

Source: BBC News


On February 23, 2006 BBC News reported, "Israel's Supreme Court has appointed a mediator to solve a dispute over the building of a museum on the site of a ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. The museum is being built by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, based in the US, to promote tolerance between faith groups. Muslim clerics petitioned the court to stop work after bones were uncovered during the building work. The court ordered a suspension of work at the site and gave a former chief justice 30 days to reach a compromise. Clerics say an old car park on which the $150m (£86m) project is being constructed was built over Islamic Waqf (religious endowment) land which had been confiscated by Israel. The cemetery is said to contain bones dating back to the earliest decades of Islam in the 7th Century, including companions of the Prophet Muhammad. 'We hope that this mediation period will produce a solution equitable to all parties,' the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said in a statement. The mediator has been named as retired Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar."