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Jerusalem under the Fire of Judaization
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
September 20, 2017

Israel seeks to weaken the Jerusalemite society by targeting the local community organizations.

The uprising of Jerusalem succeeded in forcing the occupation to completely withdraw from the security measures at Al-Aqsa and its surroundings. This withdrawal scene of its soldiers as they were "carrying" their smart cameras and electronic doors was as a confession of defeat.

Many wrote about this triumphal confrontation, and they unanimously agreed that one of the main reasons for this victory, was the availability of a firm leadership, that committed to implement the full demands of the demonstrators, and rejected the half solutions, as it considered that this means a recognition with the right of occupation in sovereignty over Al-Aqsa and passing the project of dividing it temporally and spatially.

Since then, it has been clear, that the occupation will not stop its attempts to embody its project towards the city of Jerusalem and its people, on multiple sides, starting with the continuance of the campaigns of Judaization, to the demolition of Palestinian homes to empty the city of its owners , even if step by step.

The bases of Oslo Accords and their mechanisms have enabled the occupation to focus on the delivery of areas of Palestinian communities to the PA, except Jerusalem, through a partial delivery, that stopped when Tel Aviv saw that the concerns of these communities have been removed, and the costs of managing their affairs have been transferred to the donor countries.

As for the city of East Jerusalem, it has been basically put in the way of systematic plans to Judaize it, in an accelerated manner. The successive Israeli governments have repeated their well-known discourse, that Jerusalem will remain united and an eternal capital for Israel with or without political settlement. Therefore, Tel-Aviv, at every new negotiating round, was launching a new package of settlement tenders, specifically in Jerusalem; which is a clear message to the Palestinian negotiator, that Jerusalem will remain out of negotiation, and this was the main reason why the Camp David summit failed in the summer of 2000.

Although the US administrations were in line with the Israeli vision regarding the future of East Jerusalem, and did not press against this direction, but Tel Aviv is depending on supporting its vision on the embodiment of practical facts on the ground that make this vision as a reality that cannot be undone.

So, in recent years it has begun to plan and approve projects in the Knesset, which leading to an increase in the number of Jews in the city and a reduction in the Palestinian population, and it has worked at the same time on isolating East Jerusalem from its surroundings in the West Bank, and expanding the borders of the so-called "Greater Jerusalem", in parallel with the escalation of demolition campaigns for the Palestinian homes and deporting their owners from the city, but what is more dangerous than the aforementioned occupation measures, lies in the occupation policy of weakening the Jerusalemite society by targeting the cultural, economic, social and other local community organizations, and it realizes that emptying the local community from these organizations, will weaken the ability of Jerusalemites to face its plans.

For this reason, it recently has resorted to put many national and human rights institutions on the terrorism list, closed their offices and demanded that their activists should be referred to Israeli courts. The reason is well-known; it is the role of these organizations and institutions, in the management of the battle against the occupation, during the uprising of Jerusalem, in protest against the Israeli security measures in Al-Aqsa and its surroundings.

The implementation of this plan has begun practically, since the beginning of the Intifada of Independence in the fall of 2000, and the Palestinian society and its institutions' adherence to its aims, and the effectiveness of the local community organizations, in the activities of the Intifada and the steadfastness the resistance against the occupation and its continuous attacks.

In short, Tel Aviv has its specific and clear plan for the city of Jerusalem that serves its expansionist purposes. On the other hand, the Palestinian situation lacks its unified program, whether in the protection of Jerusalem, from the Judaization, or the future of the Palestinian territories, as a whole, in order to ensure progress towards the embodiment of the independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

While the occupation considers the coming of the Trump administration as a supporter for its projects, the Palestinian negotiator and his political reference are still betting on a "positive" role for this administration, in the settlement process, although the multiple US visits to Ramallah, have made it clear, that the Trump administration does not have a clear vision regarding the settlement, or that all the headlines that it raises, are about a regional deal that begins with an Arab official normalization with the occupation ,but it does not end with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

So, warning of the dangers of continuing this betting has been repeated many times, and instead, the international community has been called to judge in the conflict with the occupation, according to the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.

If we consider that we are before the convention of a new session of the United Nations General Assembly, there is an opportunity for the Palestinian official leadership, to submit a package of draft resolutions, beginning with the request to grant Palestine the active membership in the United Nations and to submit complaints to the International Criminal Court, against the crimes of occupation, regarding the settlement, judaization, demolition of homes, detention and restrictions on Palestinians in their lives , which are contrary to the international law in politics and rights, which requires a demand for an international protection for the Palestinian people and the empowerment of it to get its national rights and embody them.

Going this way will lead to create a different reality in the field and politics, and that leads to talk about the disadvantages of the Palestinian official policy in its dealing with the popular resistance and with the activities of the youth uprising that broke out in October of 2015. Its adherence to security coordination with the occupation, was regrettable instead of dealing with the occupation measures against the youth of Intifada and the field executions that were carried out against them, and instead of exercising its duty to protect these young people, according to its national responsibility and its role to manage the public affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In this context, it is necessary to emphasize, that it is not too late, to intensify the efforts to end the division, rather than engaging more and more into the partisan procedures that deepen it and obstruct the efforts to restore the unity and stop the launching of conditions and counter-conditions, as if the battle is between two separate rivals, in which the Palestinian people and its cause are not affected.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Translated by: Rawda Abo Zarqa
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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