Monday, March 15, 2010

PACE standpoint: Settlement activies in East Jerusalem and the inauguration of Jewish temple in the vicinity of al-Aqsa as-Shariff (16th March 2010)


Recent developments in Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem) has strengthened the international public opinion that peace through negotiations between Palestine and Israel is as elusive as ever. Tel Aviv behaviour cannot be construed as anything other than to frustrate the on-going peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. The ground breaking ceremony for the jewish settlement project that would provide an additional 1,600 housing units to the already burgeoning Jewish quarter in the occupied East Jerusalem has lead to a flare-up of protest and demonstrations. Even David Axelrod, top advisor to President Obama claimed the development as an affront and insult to the peace process, adding further difficulties to an already difficult situation, despite admitting that Israel is a strong ally of the US and 'the bonds run deep'.

The scenario turned for the worst by the inauguration of the Hover tempel (synagogue) barely 700 m from the al-Aqsa as-Syariif (The compund of the honorable al-Aqsa mosque). It was a calculated move by Tel Aviv to assert its claims on Jerusalem as the 'eternal capital' of Israel. Considering the recent clash between israeli police and Palestinians who rallied behind the call by Syeikh Raed Salah, .leader of the Islamic Movement of 1948 to safeguard al-Aqsa from desecration and wanton destruction by jewish extremist and the prohibition of persons under 50 years old to enter the mosque, this move is seen as triggering a spark, in the words of Khaled Mish'al, HAMAS head of political bereau to the already tensed situation.

In view of this critical situation, PACE Malaysia issues our stand as follows:

PACE Malaysia in solidarity with the Palestinian cause stand united with the Palestinian front in their call for international condemnation of the Israeli's blatant disregard of the preconditions to move the negotiations forward, as stipulated in countless agreement since Oslo in 1993.

PACE yet again assert our position in the so-called peace process, that it has been a futile exercise and will remain so as long as Israel continues to flout with international laws and ignores UN resolutions.

PACE strongly belief that as long as the US remain a strong ally of Israel and continues to provide financial handouts and military aid to Israel, the latter will insist on trampling on the Palestinian rights as a people and opt to remain indifferent to international public opinion.

PACE condemns the inauguration of the Hover temple in the vicinity of al-Aqsa mosque and the church of Sepulcher, in a predominantly Arab quarters, a provocative move to stir religious sentiments in the name of Zionist expansionism.

PACE calls on the leaders of the muslim nations to take ownership of safeguarding the al-Aqsa As-Sheriff and to pressure Tel Aviv in respecting the rights of the indigenious muslims and christians of Jerusalem to practice their religious rites without fear and hindrance. PACE considers the prevention of Palestinians from observing their prayers in al-Aqsa mosque is simply outrageous and an affront to freedom of religious expression.

PACE supports the Palestinian cause and calls for Israel to honour and respect the rights of the Palestinian people.

Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor
PACE Malaysia
(Palestine Centre of Excellence)



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