Monday, May 25, 2009


I found At Al Jazeera, here, that a report by the heads of the European missions in the Palestinian territories issued on May 5th stated that Israel is in the process of systematically eradicating the Arab presence from occupied Jerusalem.

The report said that

occupation authorities have begun building a synagogue near al-Aqsa Mosque, which has increased Palestinian fears of a long-term plan promoted by some settler groups to take over al-Haram al-Sharif (The Temple Mount).

It explained that the settlement activity being implemented around the Old City of Jerusalem is part of a plan by the occupation aimed at linking up the settlements built in East Jerusalem with those in the Old City.

Islamic Antiquities Theft and Falsification of History In a related development, the occupation authorities placed stones stolen from sites near the southern wall of al-Aqsa Mosque on display in the garden of the newly opened building of the Israeli Knesset. This is consistent with Zionist plans to turn Jerusalem into a Jewish city and obscure its landmarks, according to Palestinian institutions concerned with heritage and charitable endowments.

The most prominent of those relics is a large stone weighing five tons stolen from a site close to the south-east of al-Aqsa Mosque below the Marwani prayer hall. A sign near the stone identifies it as being from the Temple Mount, and the accompanying explanation says that the stone is from the era of the alleged Second Temple.

Well, the original report is here. The "alleged" appears in this excerpt:

The most prominent case is that of the Al-Kurd family in Sheikh Jarrah, that has been evicted on 9 November 2008 from its home, which it had been allocated by UNRWA in 1956, after the Israeli High Court issued an eviction order. Settlers, claiming property to the land on the basis of alleged pre-1948 ownership, took over the house immediately.

I guess that Al-Jazeera is a bit propagandistic, eh?

As for the worth of the whole report itself, Nadav Shragai took it apart:

The European Union Report on Jerusalem: Distortions and Omissions - 2 April 2009

* An imbalanced EU position paper on Jerusalem written in December 2008, and recently leaked to the media, completely ignores Israel's historical and legal rights to its capital. The EU attack refers primarily to the City of David, located just beyond Jerusalem's Old City walls, an area identified by archaeologists and historians as the location of King David's capital some 3,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations took place there during Ottoman rule, as well as under the ensuing British Mandatory rule, and they have continued under Israeli rule as well.

* About 20 years ago a wave of new, illegal construction by Palestinians began on the site, causing significant and sometimes irreversible damage to the antiquities there. The Jerusalem municipality intends to offer the delinquent residents generous compensation and alternative land in the city.

* Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority for the last 150 years - at least since 1864. Israel's position in Jerusalem under international law derives from the Palestine Mandate, where the League of Nations recognized "the historical tie between the Jewish people and Palestine," and called "for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine."

* The 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan did not fix the final boundaries between the parties, but only the lines of military separation at the close of the 1948 war. At the demand of the Arab side, the Armistice Agreement stipulated that it did not serve to predetermine the rights of any party in the final resolution of conflict. In other words, upon the outbreak of the Six-Day War, the 1967 lines enjoyed no diplomatic status.

* In 1967, Israel agreed to allow the Muslim Waqf to manage the Temple Mount area, with a view toward preventing inter-religious conflict at one of the world's most sensitive sites. This was a huge concession on Israel's part that has never been properly recognized. By doing so, Israel has underscored its intention to assure freedom of access to members of all faiths at all of the holy sites in Jerusalem.

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