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    02-Aug-2017

It was Palestinians who foiled Israel’s Jerusalem scheme — Safadi

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Tuesday said that the Palestinian people have "foiled the Israeli attempt" to change the status quo at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.
 
In his speech at the Open-Ended Extraordinary Meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Executive Committee at the level of foreign ministers, held in Istanbul on Tuesday, Safadi said that protecting Al Aqsa and Jerusalem from the occupation's attempts of changing their Arab Islamic and Christian identity, is a Jordanian, Palestinian, Arab and Muslim covenant.
 
Representing Jordan at the event where 44 countries took part, Safadi attended the session held to support Jerusalemites and protect Al Aqsa Mosque in light of the latest developments resulting from the Israeli measures that targeted the holy shrine, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
 
During the crisis, which promoted the extraordinary meeting, the Palestinian people showed a “historic act of resistance” that obliged Israel to cancel its unilateral measures that violated its legal and international commitments to change the status quo at the mosque, referring to metal detectors and surveillance cameras the occupation authorities installed at the compound and had to remove them under pressure. 
 
Since the first day of the crisis, July 14, Jordan extended support to the Palestinians under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, who is the Custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, in his “tireless efforts” to end tension and restore calm to the holy city, Safadi said.
 
The top diplomat said although the crisis is over now, many other more dangerous crises would erupt as a result of the continuous Israeli violations, such as the Israeli extremists’ frequent breaking into the mosque, citing a new incident Tuesday when more than 1,080 Israeli extremists barged into the Muslim holy shrine, breaking a record since 1967.
 
He added that the crises will not end unless the occupation is ended and East Jerusalem is freed to become the capital of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 lines.
 
Israel attempted to change historical and legal status quo at Al Aqsa with the pretext of security, he said; however, “security cannot be realised if Palestinians are deprived from their right to security”.  The natural outcome of such a situation, he added, is an environment of growing despair that invites further extremism and violence.
 
The only path to security, Safadi stressed, is a peace that meets the needs of Palestinians in a state that lives peacefully and side-by-side with Israel in accordance with the international law and the Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by OIC in 2003, said the minister.
 
He noted that the Arab League’s emergency meeting at the level of foreign ministers, held upon Jordan’s request to discuss the Israeli escalation last week, concluded with demanding Israel to prove its will of peace through serious peace talks with Palestinians to solve the conflict on the basis of the two-state formula.
 
The foreign minister stressed that protecting the mosque should not be a spontaneous reaction but rather a continuous and systematic effort  to avert the Israeli attempts to impose changes on the ground.
 
Jerusalem is an Arab and Muslim collecting element that is above politics and tampering with it is a provocation for all Muslims across the globe, Safadi said.
 
He concluded that Israeli has to work on realising peace instead of “gambling” with the region’s security and its people’s right in stability. 
 
The organisation held an emergency meeting of representatives on July 24 in Saudi Arabia to discuss the Israeli escalation against the mosque.
 
On the sidelines of the session, Safadi discussed with his Turkish Counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu the situation in Jerusalem and other regional issues, in addition to bilateral ties, Petra reported. 
 
During the meeting, the two diplomats stressed the centrality of the Jerusalem cause, warning that any attempts to violate the sanctity of the holy city would draw an angry reaction from all Muslims in the world.
 
The Turkish minister commended His Majesty King Abdullah’s efforts to end tension on the basis of preserving the status quo at the holy site.
 
Safadi also met with the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to discuss the situation.
 
Marsudi stressed her country’s keenness on cooperating with Jordan, under King Abdullah’s leadership, to protect Jerusalem’s holy places.
 
In a joint communiqué issued after the gathering, participants said the meeting “strongly condemns Israel’s recent provocative actions” at the holy site, Agence France-Presse reported.
 
It accused Israel of “employing collective punishment measures and the use of lethal and excessive force against peaceful Palestinian worshippers” at the site.
 
And despite the Israeli climb down on the metal detectors, the OIC statement accused the occupation government of “persistent public statements... that incite religious sensitivities, feed tension and incite violence”.
 
It urged world powers not to support or encourage Israel’s “illegal colonisation and annexation” of East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967.
 

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