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Palestinian 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 of 1967.
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 assumptions.
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.

© 2005 Palestinian American Council