Jerusalem….When it is too late
|Wednesday, May 13,2009 19:35|
|By Violette Daguerre, ACHR|
I paid a visit to the city of
My aim was to visit, learn and engage with people whose homeland was fragmented into mostly occupied parts that were called sixty years ago Palestine, historical
One sees gloomy faces of residents who quickly return to their homes by sunset. One notices also a huge difference between East and
Only 5%-10% of
Since the first day of occupation of
Only one month after 1967 defeat, the occupation demolished 5000 houses. Neighborhoods were fully demolished, including Magharba neighborhood which was established in the era of Saladin at Al-Buraq Wall neighborhood. Also, some mosques were turned into Jewish synagogues, tourist and trade places and even camel pens.
Some Islamic graves that contained remains of some Companions of the Prophet were desecrated and their remains were moved to undisclosed places. Also, the archives of the Islamic Sharia Court were confiscated, and the Supreme Islamic Council building was demolished although the Waqf (endowment) status doesn"t perish with the passage of time. Then, "secret" forgery and excavations were carried out under Al Aqsa Mosque. They continue through today..
Papers of illegally moving ownership of 120 buildings to settlers through forged documents have been revealed. The occupation authorities controlled more than 60 thousand square meters of lands and confiscated more than 100 buildings and houses in the vicinity of the mosque, turning them into settlement outposts in which more than 50 Jewish synagogues have been built so far.
The operation is still going as dozens others are opened and as the authorities started to build the world"s biggest Jewish synagogue. This means that 90 % of Arab lands are put under control of occupation authorities (including 34 % confiscated, 40 % natural reserves, 10 % suspended lands, 6 % of the infrastructure and roads).
Al Aqsa Mosque, whose key buildings and landmarks are built on a total area of 144 square meters, has faced not only looting and robberies including seizing Al-Buraq Wall that the occupation authorities renamed the Wailing Wall, but it also suffered the demolition of Magharbeh Gate in early 2007. In its place a building was erected in addition to a bridge, buildings and fortresses which bear no relation to this place.
The occupation authorities intensified excavations in and below Al-Aqsa courtyard from southern wall till the Rock Mosque in its northern part and from its east to its west. It also makes tunnels to give access to trucks and bulldozers and eliminate Islamic monuments and appearances and to claim the presence of
Although there are cracks and collapses in its western and southern walls, the occupation authorities refused the Islamic Endowments Department to restore the ruined parts in its courtyard, in Al-Buraq mosque, Old Al Aqsa Mosque, Marwani mosque and in its affiliated schools.
Meanwhile, Palestinians living in Gaza Strip and the
Aqsa Foundation for Reconstruction of Islamic Sanctities was closed on 14th August last year, after occupation authorities had started since 1996 to close Palestinian Islamic movement institutions, arrest their leaders and confiscate their documents and money to force them, under constant pressure, to change its policies to avoid further arrests and closure of institutions, and distract and overwhelm in defending itself, while the occupation carries its schemes against al-Aqsa and other Islamic sanctities.
It also aimed to highlight the marginal Arab society and to reinforce Arab and Palestinian defeatism in the face of Israelization. These measures aim also to show that treating the Palestinians would be in accordance with emergency laws.
Since the latest assault on
The occupation authorities are speeding up measures of annexing and confiscating thousands of square meters of lands and hundreds of buildings under various pretexts and through issuing various orders, decisions and more than twenty laws, the most prominent of which are: Laws of confiscating absentees properties, natural reserves, green land and for the public interest, and so on.
This definitely targets displacing Jerusalem residents, so that the remaining, a decade from now, would be only 12 % of their current population, i.e. a quarter of a million, and increasing the Jewish population an additional million in the coming decade.
In contravention to demands of the international community and commitments of the Road Map, the
In addition to the Jerusalem municipality"s strictness in giving building licenses to Palestinians of Jerusalem, preventing them from vertical and horizontal expansion in building, it may allow an exception which is very costly indeed, i.e. 25 thousand dollars for building a residential apartment. Meanwhile, Jews are given all required licenses and facilitations in return for very little fees. Due to this restriction, some were forced to build their houses without these licenses, giving authorities a pretext to demolish them.
Therefore, more than 400 houses have been demolished since 2004, while no less than 1000 houses are expecting demolition orders. The authorities do not grant the houses to Israelis to reside in them after evicting owners.
These eviction measures are capped by the occupation authorities withdrawing identity cards of as many Jerusalemites as possible. No less than 40000 IDs have been withdrawn. The occupation authorities require that blue IDs must be received from the Interior Ministry, in addition to other papers like water bills, electricity bills and taxation papers, in order to verify residence in
The authorities rely on many pretexts: Amending laws of entry, residence according to years of absence and getting a foreign nationality and others. The occupation authorities have started to close houses of the Jerusalemite under pretext that they did not live in them for a period of time although they show official documents that refute such allegations. Also, they deny Palestinians holding a foreign passport residence in
Implementing plans of demolition and eviction have recently been accelerated to turn
A reality is also imposed on the ground through economic and tourist investments to force, when arrangement for the situation are completed, a recognition of
Through intensive settlement building, the occupation authorities work for removing the so called Green Line. There are no less than 192 thousand settlers illegally living in 12 settlement outposts in
Since resolution 303 was issued by UN General Assembly on 9th December 1949 the city of the three heavenly religions was granted a special international status, with highlighting a protection to sacred places and respecting religious, cultural and social privacies for all its residents. However, the occupation state tabled this resolution and has never respected it.
As for the supervising body, that consists of five Security Council permanent member states, delegated with implementing the resolution, it has been suspended since 1994
The Hebrew state has never allowed the United Nations to practice any administrative authority over
According to the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967,
It is also the only country that makes religion and ideology a reason for driving people out of their land, replacing them with anyone claiming Judaism. As for the six million persons who were driven out of their country and are now refugees all over the world, there is no signed agreement that establishes their return to their homeland.
In spite of all the humiliating agreements, concessions and talks, the number of settlers in the West Bank since Oslo Agreement in 1993 has jumped from 190 thousand to half a million today.
25 % of its lands have been swallowed in building the racial discrimination barrier and expanding
Unfortunately, this situation and the demographic, geographical, social and economic changes were met by only individual and personal reactions in the absence of an all-out Arab Palestinian Islamic and Christian strategy to protect the city.
There is no clear policy to confront projects of settlement building and Judaization. The Palestinian Authority seemingly has no relation with
Ehud Barak said one day to Yasser Arafat “You own what is above land in
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority continues to hold talks and meetings with only meager results. This helps the Zionists to usurp lands, loot wealth and steal underground sources of energy, gas, waters and stones to build houses of settlers and even monuments to decorate houses of the settlers too.
Translated by Sadek Mosa and revised by Saja,