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Interview on PA TV on “Judaization” of Jerusalem, denial of Jewish history and Temple, Al-Aqsa Mosque under attack, promotion of “Martyrdom”

Official PA TV program Good Morning Jerusalem, interview with Director of the Walking the Straight Path in Jerusalem Association Walid Siyam on the “Judaization” of Jerusalem through the national parks

Director of the Walking the Straight Path in Jerusalem Association Walid Siyam: “Whoever follows the settlement policy and what the extremist right-wing government is doing in Jerusalem [sees that] it is based on three principles: occupation, emptying [it of Palestinians], and then housing [Israelis]. What the Israeli Parliament did recently, ratifying the decision regarding the national parks in a second and third reading (refers to law allowing homes to be built on land designated for state parks –Ed.), is already familiar to us people of Jerusalem: every national park is exploited to build a settlement on it…

These national parks are a taking over of the eastern areas, particularly the area of Silwan… the approach to the Holy Basin. This is a noose around the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. And given this we say: The battle for Jerusalem is demographic, and fundamentally ideological. Jerusalem does not belong only to the people of Jerusalem, and not only to the Palestinians. Here we are defending the honor of the Arab nation and the Islamic [nation] in Jerusalem. And given this we must strengthen and stabilize the resolve of the residents of Jerusalem, and invest in them. And we are completely aware: What the extremist right-wing government is doing in Jerusalem is the theft of history and geography – no! On the contrary: Jerusalem is Canaanite. They attempted to plant false graves in order to take over lands and build settlements…

The problem here is they want to create a settlement security belt around the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the target is the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Official PA TV host: “Also regarding Silwan: Yesterday [Nov. 22, 2018] the occupation’s [Israeli] Supreme Court rejected the petition submitted by families from the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood [of Silwan], south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, against evacuating and emptying these homes that contain 700 Palestinian families (sic., 700 people) for Jews on the pretext that they own it from before the 1948 Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel). We are experiencing a new Nakba these days.”

Walid Siyam: “If the extremist right-wing government, the occupation government, is thinking to forge the deeds to these lands and assets and erase the right – no. In the shadow of the Arab silence, and in the shadow of the absence of the international community, and in the shadow of the extremist right-wing government’s harming of international law, we say clearly: The State of Palestine has the title of UN observer, the State of Palestine is in the framework of the International Criminal Court – we must bring these lawsuits to the International Criminal Court, and bring a lawsuit against the Ateret Kohanim association and Elad (i.e., organizations promoting Jewish property acquisition in Jerusalem) as terrorist organizations – terror is not just an explosion, my sister, terror is the theft of history and geography-”

Host: “True.”

Walid Siyam: “-and the theft of everything.”

Host: “What is new in this matter [of the Gate of Mercy cemetery] is that there are stones that are about to fall, and there is already a stone that fell because of the weather and such. This means that this allows the settlers and the occupation government to interfere with rehabilitation which means: a change in the character of this Islamic place.”

Walid Siyam: “There were actions by the Association for the Protection of Silwan three months ago to clean and rehabilitate this cemetery. The [Israeli] Nature [and Parks] Authority stole pieces from this cemetery, and the big plan for this cemetery is the construction of stairs – according to their belief in their Torah, the Lord Messiah will come from the Mount of Olives to the Gate of Mercy cemetery in order to open [the Gate of Mercy] – and the intention here is the construction of the alleged third Temple. The danger is from the Gate of Mercy, my dear sister, and from the settlers and Talmudic (i.e., Jewish) biblical institutions making a place for themselves at the area of the Gate of Mercy. This is the warning bell: We must protect the Gate of Mercy cemetery and the Gate of Mercy…

As I said to you, the target is the Gate of Mercy and the Al-Aqsa Mosque – strangling the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the south and north… The battle, as I said, is not just demographic, but also about faith. They did not have a temple at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and they did not have a presence (sic., there is an abundance of evidence for the First and Second Temples as well as the Jewish presence in Israel). The State of Israel is not a Jewish state; there is a difference between Zionism and Judaism. The religious Jews do not recognize the State of Israel (sic., other than a few extremist groups most religious Jews recognize the State of Israel). Given this we say as Muslims and as Christians: Jerusalem is in the snake’s maw. We are defending the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque here. We are obligated– and this is the Islamic-Christian connection – the Vatican must also intervene, and also the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the head of the Jerusalem Committee in Morocco must intervene. We as the people of Jerusalem are struggling alone here… but we guarantee to Allah and to our Arab nation and Islamic [nation]: We will either be Martyrs under the ground of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, or we will be free people above this ground.”

Several areas adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem were declared a national park by Israel in 1974, and Palestinians have attempted to illegally expand the Muslim Gate of Mercy cemetery – located outside the eastern wall of the Old City – into the Jerusalem Walls National Park territory.

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