Arabs Rally Against Building Tolerance Museum Atop Muslim Cemetery in Jerusalem

Hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs rallied yesterday at the ruins of a Muslim graveyard in Jerusalem where the city's new Museum of Tolerance is slated to be built.

The protesters were demonstrating against a Supreme Court ruling which gave permission to resume immediate constructi on following a hiatus of more than two years.

"We have come to tell the world, on behalf of all the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and the Diaspora that we will not put up with this," said Sheikh Kamal Khatib, chairman of the Islamic Movement's northern branch.

"We will not forgive the defilement of the graves of our mothers, fathers and grandparents. We will not tolerate the construction of the Museum of Tolerance," he added.

Khatib also called on American president-elect Barack Obama to intervene, saying that the construction was "being done with the money of American Jews."

Khatib referred to Obama's address to AIPAC a few months ago, in which he vowed that Jerusalem would remain undivided under Israeli sovereignty, a statement which he later renounced.

"It's not up to you to decide," he said. "We, Palestinian Arabs, Christians and Muslims, tell you that Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state, Inshallah [with the will of God]."