Response to the US Congress Bill on Jerusalem
On the findings of the US Congress
justifying passing the Congress Bill on Jerusalem, it is important to make clear
that these findings are not correct, misleading and based on wrong information.
(click here to read the text of the
US Congress Bill on Jerusalem)
Finding (1): Is
applicable in general terms, but not in the case of Jerusalem.
Finding (2): Since 1950, West
Jerusalem was declared the Capital of Israel. East Jerusalem was not.
Finding (3): West Jerusalem is the
seat of Israelís President, Parliament, the Supreme Court. The Ministry of
Police was transferred to Arab East Jerusalem after it was occupied in the war
Finding (4): The phrasing of these
items are not acceptable, the Church of Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa, the
Aqsa Mosque, Haram El-Sharif and 2000 years of history, Christian and Islamic,
deserves better from the congress.
Finding (5): Before 1948, Palestine
was under the British rule, the British facilitated the creation of the Jewish
state in 1949, the Jordanian league entered the city, and then became part of
Kingdom of Jordan.
It is important to note that, people of Jewish faith, holders of any passport
other than Israeli were able to visit the wailing wall in the city. Jews holding
Israeli passport were not allowed as Jordan and Israel were in a state of war.
The Palestinians were not in power, and did not have a say in that period of
time, and therefore, cannot be held responsible for what had happened then.
Finding (6): In 1967, East Jerusalem was taken and occupied by force,
there was absolutely nothing Jewish in Arab East Jerusalem.
Finding (7): Since 1967 Jerusalem has been administered by Israel
against the wishes of all Palestinians in the city - Muslims and Christians.
It is not true that persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full
access to holy sites within the city. Palestinian Christians and Muslims from
Bethlehem, Ramallah, Beit-Sahour and all other areas in the West Bank have been
denied access to the holy city, they are denied celebrating Christmas and the
Eid in the holy city. Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in the world had no access
to the holy sites in Jerusalem.
Finding (8): This year Jerusalem
marks 28 years of captivity, Arab East Jerusalem is a city ruled by the shear
force of its Israeli occupiers.
Finding 9-10: As always, the
overriding principle motivating the American Congress is electoral
consideration, there is no merit behind the Senate Concurrent resolution 106 and
113 as it is based on incorrect assumptions.
Finding (11,12): are correct.
Finding (13,14,15): The
United States Senate deliberately ignores the Declaration of Principles signed
between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the government of Israel,
specifically the agreement between both parties to defer the issue of Jerusalem
to the final status talks.
Finding (16): When Palestinian
sovereignty is restored on Arab East Jerusalem, the Palestinians will celebrate
6000 years of history in Jerusalem, Canaanite, Jewish, Christian and Muslim,
Jerusalemís history is a mosaic, each representing a different heritage,
religion, and culture.
Based on the above, the Palestinian people reject the policy statement referred
to in the Bill, as it is based on wrong, false and inaccurate statements and
The facts on the ground in Arab East Jerusalem and the history of the city
refute the claims of the US Congress. The Congress Bill will only make achieving
a lasting peace in our area more difficult. In the long run, this will not serve
the national interests of the United States, nor the interest of the people of
the area, both Palestinian and Israeli.
The spirit of the Palestinians in Arab East Jerusalem has not and never will be
broken. Arab East Jerusalem with its people, its streets and alleys, its mosques
and churches, its will and determination, will never succumb to Israeli
pressure. Jerusalem is not a united city. There are two separate distidifferent
peoples - Palestinians in the East and Israelis in the West. Palestinians will
only co-exist with Jerusalem being capital of two states, East Jerusalem being
the capital of the State of Palestine.
Our claim to Jerusalem is protected on the ground by our people - 180,000 of
them living in East Jerusalem, and by international law supported by UN
resolutions, and by international legitimacy recognizing East Jerusalem as
occupied territory, the Israeli acquisition of which was by military force.
To this end, there will never be peace in our area until East Jerusalem is no
longer under Israeli occupation, but the capital of the Palestinian State.