In these holiest days as we approach the end of Ramadan, the Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem face yet another campaign by the Israeli occupation, aimed at changing the demography of the city by forcing its people, the Palestinians, to flee using illegal court orders and deadly force.
These actions will certainly not change the historic facts or the international resolutions that bans any change in the city’s demography or borders (of June 1967) nor can they undermine the historical custody role of Jordan of its Muslim and Christian shrines.
What the Israelis have been doing in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood is a clear contravention of all those historic facts that cannot be changed by brute force. On the contrary, the Israeli actions diminish the chances of peace in the region that have been opened by a number of Arab countries last year which signed historic deals to establish formal ties.
It is disappointing to see the Israeli government turn its back on all these historic calls for peace and economic collaboration in the region, some of which we have seen evolving quickly into promising business ventures that will hopefully benefit the peoples of the Middle East, particularly the Palestinian people.
Israel was expected to seize the opportunity created by these accords to open a new chapter in its relationship with the Palestinian by initiating peace talks that tackle the central issue — ending the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, as per the United Nations resolutions and the Arab peace initiative of 2002.
De-escalate the situation
Thus, it is disappointing to see the Israeli government turn its back on all these historic calls for peace and economic collaboration in the region, some of which we have seen evolving quickly into promising business ventures that will hopefully benefit the peoples of the Middle East, particularly the Palestinian people.
Israeli forces must stand down and de-escalate the situation that could very well get out of control very soon if the attacks on Palestinian worshippers continue. The Israeli government must listen to its friends in the West, such as the United States and the European Union, who have called on Israel to stop its illegal practices in Jerusalem and refrain from any attempt to the change the city’s status quo by force.
The Arab League, holding an urgent meeting to discuss the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem, will also renew its calls on Israel to commit to peace by defusing the tension. And it will affirm that East Jerusalem, as recognised by the international community, is the capital of the future Palestinian state. All efforts to try to change this undisputable fact are bound to fail.