Protests shed light on Jerusalem’s status in upcoming elections

Protests shed light on Jerusalem’s status in upcoming elections


Amman: The sudden escalation and spread of Palestinian protests due to racism incited by Jewish groups has made the status of occupied Jerusalem a central issue.

Majidi Khalidi, senior diplomatic adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Arab News that he has already contacted other Arab and Islamic countries in the world and called on them to issue a public statement on the importance of the elections that should be held in Jerusalem.

Khalidi said that no one can bypass the people of Jerusalem.
He said: “What is happening reminds the world that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory and the capital of the Palestinian state.” “This shows that the Palestinians in Jerusalem must be allowed to participate in elections.”

“What is happening reminds the world that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory and the capital of the Palestinian state,” he said. “It shows that Jerusalem Palestinians must be allowed to participate in the elections.”

Tor Wennesland, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, condemned “all acts of violence” and called upon “all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan and this politically charged time for all.”

The UN coordinator’s statement, which said that efforts are being made to de-escalate the situation, failed to condemn the racist calls for the death of Arabs, nor did it reiterate the rights of Jerusalem Palestinians to participate in the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections.

“Jerusalem is a red line,” he said. “Any attempts against it are tantamount to playing with fire. The Israeli occupiers have an international obligation to stop the racist violations against the people of the old city of Jerusalem.”

Safadi called the attackers “hate and racism.”

Israeli media reported that a high-level security meeting of the Tel Aviv Ministry of Defense concluded that Israel must prepare for an escalation that may take a long time to escalate and spread throughout the occupied territories. The Chief of Staff of the Army, Aviv Kohavi, who was in charge of the security conference, cancelled his planned trip to the United States due to the escalation of tensions and violence.

Anees Sweidan, director of the Arab Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), believes that the Jerusalem protests will strengthen the hands of those who call for Jerusalemites to be included in the May 22 elections.

However, former Fatah prisoner Radi Jirai (Radi Jirai) believes that now is the reason why Palestinians and Israelis will reach a consensus on a country with equal rights in the future. He told Arab News that the bombing in Jerusalem was not good news for Abbas.

“President Abbas is in an unenviable position,” he said. “His support to the protesters will mean that he will have a hard time if pressed by Israelis to calm the situation down.

Khalil Assali, the publisher of the East Jerusalem news site Akhbarelbalad, told Arab News that politicians should not interfere or try to hijack the protests. 

“Leave the youth of Jerusalem to oppose Israeli racism and to Jerusalemites, who called for holding the tarawih (post-isha prayers) at the steps of Damascus gate in defiance of Israel’s unilaterally imposed ban against the use of the stairs by the Palestinians of the city,” he said.
Aviv Tataraski, of the Ir-Amim NGO, which is focused on the human rights situation in East Jerusalem, told Arab News that the real problem is the police. 

“If the police wanted, they could easily disperse or keep them at bay,” he said.

Tataraski said Israeli police turned a blind eye to calls for the death of Arabs by the extremist groups while brutally attacking Palestinians who just came for prayer, shopping, or were protesting with calls of Allah-o-Akbar.

He said that the real power of Palestinians is their numbers. 

“When the Israeli police decided to block people from sitting and gathering at the Damascus gate without any justification, the motive was clear,” Tataraski said. “The police wanted to show Palestinians that even in this central place they have to bow down to Israeli whims.”

Tataraski was an eyewitness to the events of the past few days. He said the actions against the Palestinians backfired.

Wadie Abu Nassar, director of the Haifa-based International Consultation Center, told Arab News that Israel has no intention to approve or disagree with the Palestinian elections in Jerusalem.

Abu Nassar insisted: “No one is putting pressure on Israel, not even Hamas, to allow Palestinians to conduct elections in Jerusalem.”

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