Haret al-Maghariba

Haret al-Maghariba (“Moroccan neighborhood” in English) was a centuries-old neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem adjacent to the Western Wall that was home to approximately 650 people and 100 families. On June 10, 1967, days after Israel occupied Arab Jerusalem, it was entirely demolished by contractors hired by the Jerusalem municipality on the direct orders of Mayor Teddy Kollek.

Sources differ on the roots of the neighborhood’s name. Some sources indicate that the entire neighborhood was the Islamic waqf of King al-Afdal, one of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi’s 17 sons. Other sources say that the neighborhood was named after the Moroccan pilgrims who visited al-Aqsa Mosque, or that Moroccan religious students stayed in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood was located next to al-Buraq Wall, or what has become the Western Wall complex. The city rushed to demolish 135 homes and historic structures in the al-Maghariba neighborhood and turned it into an open square in the newly expanded Jewish Quarter. Today’s Jewish Quarter was built on the lands of the al-Maghariba and al-Sharaf neighborhoods.