The Palestinians complained about the Israeli government’s weekly meeting that was held in the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalem’s Old City, an event the Palestinians labeled a “provocation.”
Palestinian officials criticized the location of the Israeli government’s weekly cabinet meeting that was held on Sunday in the Western Wall tunnels of Jerusalem’s Old City in honor of Jerusalem Day and the 50th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem.
The weekly cabinet meetings are usually held at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat denounced the cabinet meeting as a “provocation” and proof that Israel “insists on sabotaging international efforts” for peace.
During the meeting, Netanyahu announced plans to boost tourism in the Old City and to invest in the development of infrastructure in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
“Today’s meeting in Occupied East Jerusalem is an attempt by the Israeli government to normalize occupation, oppression and colonization over the land and people of Palestine,” Erekat said in a statement.
“The Israeli government has decided to mark 50 years of occupation and the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, by sending a clear message to the Palestinian people that the systematic violations of their inalienable rights are going to continue,” Erekat added.
Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator in the diplomatic process, also slammed the international community’s inaction as a major factor leading Israel to continue violating international law.
“Israel’s unprecedented culture of impunity has been encouraged by a number of countries that continue to assure Israel that no concrete action will be taken to end Israel’s decades of systematic violations of its obligations under international law and UN resolutions,” he stated. “It is no longer acceptable, after 50 years of the Israeli occupation, for countries to claim to support the two-state solution while giving assurances to Israel that there will be no consequences for its illegal actions.”
“Marking 50 years of occupation is a shame for the total international system,” Erekat declared.
Israel’s Eternal Capital
While the Palestinians view the 1967 Six Day War as a defeat and a catastrophe, Israel views it as a miraculous victory which enabled them to unify their capital for the first time in 2,000 years.
Speaking at the Knesset Wednesday during a special session in honor of Jerusalem Day and the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification, Netanyahu acknowledged there are those who wish to erase the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem and deny Israeli sovereignty over its capital.
“We will not go back to a situation in which we can look at the Western Wall, but cannot approach it,” Netanyahu said. “To you, the members of the Knesset, the citizens of Israel, and to the entire world, I want to make it clear: The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will stay under Israeli sovereignty forever.”
“Jerusalem is built, blossoming, open for everyone, and respects followers of all religions. We are the ones who liberated Jerusalem from its continued neglect and distress. We are the ones who developed the city into what it is today,” he declared.
By: United with Israel Staff
Sign the Declaration to Keep Jerusalem United
Jerusalem Must Remain the United Capital of Israel
I declare that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People and support all efforts to maintain and strengthen a united Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.