Tension in East Jerusalem- Article by Narciso Machado

The international community still remembers the execution of a young Palestinian man burned alive in retaliation for the murder of three Israelis, creating yet another war between the two people, ending a calm period. But tension has returned to the limelight, now regarding the limitations the Israeli government imposed on Muslims’ access to the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem and annexed unilaterally by Israel in 1967. The Israeli government Placed metal detectors at the entrance to the mosque, prompting protests and generating a wave of violence. The Israeli government, under pressure from the international community, replaced the metal detectors with a TV circuit, also rejected by the Palestinians.

Using its capacity for political and military domination, Israel began, to impose a system of apartheid on Muslim and Christian citizens of the occupied territories, with special emphasis on East Jerusalem. This apartheid is worse than the one that existed in South Africa because of the illegal appropriation of land. The wall separates not only Israelis from Palestinians, but also separates, more seriously, Palestinians from Palestinians.

Given the control of East Jerusalem, under the relative security of the wall surrounding what remains of the West Bank and the thousands of settlers remaining on the eastern side of the wall, protected by a strong occupation device, some Israelis tend to avoid further efforts To seek a peace agreement based on the International Quartet Roadmap or in good faith negotiations with any other basis.

The agreement on the problem of sovereignty over Jerusalem is undoubtedly one of the most difficult negotiating points in history because it has been a city occupied by Jews, Christians and Muslims and is considered holy for all three Religions. It is therefore necessary to go beyond the mythical status of Jerusalem to a rational discussion of rights and sovereignty. To give Jerusalem the status of an international city as, indeed, established the UN at the time of the creation of the State of Israel, would be the most convenient for the world so that all people have free access, enjoying freedom of worship and right to visit and cross holy places without distinction or discrimination. There are those who, sensibly, plead for the Old City of Jerusalem two sovereignties and two flags, but a single joint administration.

Given that these three religions are indirectly involved in this conflict, they should be aware of their ethical and moral responsibility, using their spiritual resources to achieve peace and make it permanent. The apostolic visit that Pope Francis made to the Holy Land on April 24-26, 2014, accompanied by a rabbi and a Muslim dignitary, with visits to Amman, Bethlehem, Televive and Jerusalem, was an excellent initiative in favor of peace. At the time, the Pope said that “it takes more courage to make peace than to make war”, challenging Jews, Christians and Muslims “to leave their walls and to walk the paths of tolerance and dialogue Interreligious “.

The Palestinian people only wish to be recognized by the state that, on 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly created by dividing Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab State with well-defined borders. The correctness of the position of the Palestinian people is abundantly recognized by international law. Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 borders is therefore required, as specified in UN Resolution 242, as promised by the Camp David Accords and the Oslo Accord and envisaged in the International Quartet Roadmap.

(Translated by: The Diplomatic Mission of Palestine)

A tensão em Jerusalém Oriental

A comunidade internacional ainda está recordada da execução de um jovem palestiniano, queimado vivo por retaliação ao assassinato de três israelitas, gerando, na altura, mais uma guerra entre os dois povos, pondo fim a um período de alguma acalmia. Porém, a tensão voltou novamente à ribalta, agora a propósito das limitações que o governo israelita impôs no acesso dos muçulmanos à mesquita de Al Aqsa, situada em Jerusalem Oriental (Cidade Velha), e anexada unilateralmente por Israel, em 1967. O governo israelita colocou detetores de metais na entrada da Mesquita, motivando protestos e gerando uma onda de violência. O governo de Israel, mediante pressão da comunidade internacional, substituiu os detectores de metais por um circuito de TV, também rejeitado pelos palestinianos.

Utilizando a sua capacidade de domínio político e militar, Israel começou, paulativamente, a impor um sistema de encapsulação e de apartheid aos cidadãos muçulmanos e cristãos dos territórios ocupados, com especial relevo para Jerusalém Oriental. Este apartheid é pior do que aquele que existiu na África do Sul por se tratar de apropriação ilícita de terras. O muro separa não só israelitas de palestinianos, mas separa também, o que é mais grave, palestinianos de palestinianos.

Perante o controlo de Jerusalém Oriental, sob a segurança relativa do muro que rodeia o que resta da Margem Ocidental e os milhares de colonos que se mantêm do lado oriental do muro, protegidos por um forte dispositivo de ocupação, alguns israelitas tendem a evitar novos esforços para procurar um acordo de paz, baseado no Roteiro do Quarteto Internacional ou em negociações de boa-fé com qualquer outra base.

O acordo relativamente ao problema da soberania sobre Jerusalém é, sem dúvida, um dos pontos das negociações mais difíceis de alcançar, em virtude de, através da história, ter sido uma cidade ocupada por judeus, cristãos e muçulmanos e ser considerada santa para as três religiões. Importa, pois, ultrapassar o estatuto mítico de Jerusalém para uma discussão racional sobre direitos e sobre a soberania. Dar a Jerusalém o estatuto de cidade internacional como, aliás, estabeleceu a ONU aquando da criação do Estado de Israel, seria o mais conveniente à comunidade mundial, por forma a que todos os povos tenham livre acesso, usufruindo da liberdade de culto e do direito a visitar e atravessar os lugares santos, sem distinção ou discriminação. Há quem, sensatamente, defenda para a Cidade Velha de Jerusalém duas soberanias e duas bandeiras, mas uma única administração conjunta.

Atendendo a que estas três religiões estão indirectamente envolvidas nesta conflito, deviam estar cientes da sua responsabilidade ética e moral, usando os seus recursos espirituais para alcançar a paz e torná-la permanente. A visita apostólica que o Papa Francisco fez à Terra Santa, nos dias 24-26 de Abril de 2014, acompanhado de um rabino e de um dignitário muçulmano, com passagens por Amâ, Belém, Televive e Jerusalém, foi uma excelente iniciativa a favor da paz. Recorde-se que, na altura, o Papa afirmou que “é preciso mais coragem para fazer a paz do que fazer a guerra”, desafiando judeus, cristãos e muçulmanos “a saírem dos seus muros e a percorrerem os caminhos da tolerância e do diálogo inter-religioso”.

O povo Palestiniano apenas pretende que lhes seja reconhecido o Estado que, a 29 de Novembro de 1947, a Assembleia Geral da ONU criou, ao dividir a Palestina num Estado judaico e um Estado árabe, com fronteiras bem definidas. A justeza da posição do povo palestiniano é abundantemente reconhecida pelo direito internacional. Impõe-se, portanto, a retirada de Israel para as fronteiras de 1967, como se encontra especificado na Resolução 242 da ONU, prometida pelos Acordos de Camp David e pelo Acordo de Oslo e prevista no Roteiro do Quarteto Internacional.

https://www.publico.pt/2017/07/28/mundo/noticia/a-tensao-em-jerusalem-oriental-1780590
 

 

UNESCO registers Hebron, Ibrahimi mosque on World Heritage in Danger list

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to inscribe Hebron’s Old City and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank on the World Heritage in Danger list on Friday, despite diplomatic efforts by Israel and the United States to block the move.

The resolution, filed by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Tourism, Hebron municipality, and Hebron rehabilitation committee, argued that Hebron’s Old City urgently needed protection from Israeli violations in the area that harmed the exceptional international value of the site.
Friday’s vote asserted that Hebron’s Old City and the mosque will be registered in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and also stated that the two sites are to be recognized as being in danger, meaning that each year UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will convene to discuss their case.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated that the resolution’s passing was “due to Palestinian diplomacy and the support of our friends in the world,” and added that it was passed “despite the pressure exercised on many states by Israel and the United States,” according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The Palestine Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release that UNESCO had made “the only logical and correct decision,” describing the move as a “victory for tolerance and diversity.”“This vote celebrated facts and rejected the shameless high-profile political bullying and attempts at extortion,” the ministry said, and argued that Hebron’s Old City and the mosque have been “under threat due to the irresponsible, illegal, and highly damaging actions of Israel, the occupying power, which maintains a regime of separation and discrimination in the city based on ethnic background and religion.”“Inscribing Hebron as World Heritage under threat rejects the exclusionary ideology that fought this inscription based on prejudice and the rejection of others,” the statement continued, and expressed gratitude for member states that approved the decision for “(promoting) tolerance, preserving world heritage, and (rejecting) the toxic tirades of exclusivity and exclusion.”
A statement released by the Palestinian Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Rula Maaya stressed the importance of the “historic event” that she said confirmed the Palestinian identity of Hebron and the Ibrahimi mosque, which “by its heritage and history, belongs to the Palestinian people.”
Maaya said the recognition would help protect the site from the “ongoing Israeli violations and continued attempts to Judaize the site,” and said the vote also represented a rejection of Israeli claims over the Ibrahimi mosque, which is known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
The minister also claimed the inscription would benefit the Palestinian tourism sector by drawing visitors to the site, and would also attract development projects geared towards preserving Hebron’s cultural heritage and rehabilitating tourist infrastructure.
Palestinian authorities have planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for years, but recently decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the Ibrahimi Mosque, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.
Hebron’s Old City, which is under full Israeli military control, is home to some 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces. The Ibrahimi Mosque, where the Prophet Abraham is believed to be buried, has been a focal point of violence for decades, as the site is holy to both Muslims and Jews and has been a prime site for Israeli settler activities in the area.
The holy site was split into a synagogue and a mosque after US-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994. Since the split, Muslim worshipers have been denied access to the site during Jewish holidays and vice versa in effort to prevent violence from erupting.