Saeb Erekat : “Israeli Celebration of Illegal Jerusalem Annexation is an
Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat slammed the Israeli government’s celebrations of the so called ‘Reunification Day’, in Occupied East Jerusalem, as “clear proof that peace is not part of the Israeli government’s agenda”. He added, “The Israeli government is allowing thousands of extremists and zealots to march through the occupied City and threaten Palestinian civilians, while cutting off Palestinian access to Jerusalem hospitals, schools, commercial centers, churches and mosques. Clearly, this behaviour reflects the mentality of a colonizer, rather than a supposed peace partner”.
“Israel, the occupying Power, has facilitated this campaign of intimidation, terrorization, and provocation, including the entry of Knesset members into Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound”, Said Dr. Erekat, adding, “We hold the Israeli government responsible for its reckless endorsement of these provocative acts, which enflame religious passions and further obstruct the international community’s efforts at reaching a negotiated settlement to the conflict”.
Dr. Erekat went on to say, “the international community should condemn this march and official Israeli celebrations as clearly inciting against peace. This purported ‘reunification’ of Jerusalem is not recognised by any member of the international community because it is an illegal annexation of an occupied city. It is an audacious and flagrant breach of international law and a further attempt to erase the Palestinian Christian and Muslim identity of the City”.
He added, “The Israeli government is clearly serving the interests of the settlers and their colonial agenda, which seeks to destroy the two-state solution and continue denying the realization of the Palestinian people’s legitimate national rights. These celebrations are an assault on peace prospects”.
Dr. Erekat concluded, “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the capital of the future Palestinian state. Without East Jerusalem, there will be no Palestinian state. Jerusalem is the key to peace”.
* In 1980, Israel adopted the “Basic Law” on Jerusalem, which ratified the illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem to Israel. The international community does not recognize this annexation, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 478. The Resolution rejected the Israeli measure as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and determined that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular, the recent ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void”.