Al-Quds in 2018: Steadfastness in the face of Judaization and settlements

03 Januari 2019 9:07:10

The year 2018 seemed to be the most difficult year in the history of the city of Jerusalem, where the process of Judaization and settlements’ expansion never stopped for one moment throughout more than 50 years. The Israeli occupation made use of the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and accelerated its plans to control the city.

Implementing Trump decisions

Jerusalem-based lawyer Khalid Zabarqa, a specialist in al-Aqsa and Jerusalem affairs, told the Palestinian Information Center that 2018 was one of the most difficult years in the history of the city of Jerusalem, pointing out that the year saw the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as further restrictions on Jerusalemites by limiting their presence in the city. It seems that that the Trump Declaration along with the unlimited American support for Israel unleashed its heavy hand in Jerusalem; thus it proceeded with its Judaization projects in a frantic and accelerated manner, he added.

Demolition of houses

According to official statistics, the Israeli occupation forces demolished more than 145 Palestinian buildings during the year 2018 in East Jerusalem, under false claims, which led to the displacement of its inhabitants, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The “Ir Amim” Association for Human Rights confirmed that the Israeli government approved plans for the construction of 5,820 new housing units in the city and published a tender for the construction of 603 housing settlement units, adding that settler groups had taken over six houses in the Old City.

Lawyer Zabarqa describes what is happening in Jerusalem as “wasting of real estate,” as represented in the demolition campaigns or buying through third parties.

Incursions into Al-Aqsa

The year 2018 was the year of incursions into Al-Aqsa, said Zabarqa, indicating that 2018 saw an escalation in the number of incursions in terms of numbers and type, including members of the Knesset or prominent ministers in the Israeli government as well as its various security services. The Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, confirmed that about 28,000 settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque during 2018, compared to 26,000 in 2017.

Jordan's role has declined

“This indicates that the Israeli occupation ignores Jordan’s historic role and wants to change the role of Jordan in the Mosque and wants to turn it into a decor that serves the policies of occupation and Judaization,” said the Jerusalemite lawyer Zabarqa.

The Jordanian role in the administration of Al-Aqsa Mosque is a result of an international recognition, confirmed by UN Security Council Resolutions 252 and 271, meaning that the decision-making circles of the Jordanian state are capable of acting internationally to denounce or pressure the Israeli state in case of any attempt to change facts on the ground in contradiction with the situation prior to 1967, as it did in 1968 and 1969.

According to experts, the facts on the ground place the decision-making circles in the Jordanian state responsible for activating these tools to protect Al-Aqsa. The Jordanian public at the same time is also responsible pressuring the decision-makers in Amman to act in accordance with its mandate on Al-Aqsa.

The steadfastness of Jerusalemites

Zabarqa pointed out that despite the harshness of the year 2018, Jerusalem was also the year of the legendary steadfastness in the face of the occupation and its policies, which was in constant confrontation and defiance of the policies of the occupation, especially those aimed at the Palestinian presence in the city of Jerusalem.

He added: “The Jerusalemites have always stood up to the policies of Israeli occupation, and the systematic plots practiced by some Arab regimes, which became one of the arms of Judaization in the city.”

In the course of 2018, the Israeli occupation forces arrested more than 1,600 Palestinians from Jerusalem, a quarter of them were children under the age of 14, and 55 women, as confirmed by Amjad Abu Assab, the head of the Committee of the Families of Prisoners in Jerusalem.

Source: Palestinian Information Center