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PA official: “It cannot be that Jesus’ city [Jerusalem] will be the capital of the State of Israel”

“Archbishop of Brazil (sic., of São Paulo) Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer emphasized that the Catholic Church’s position regarding the Palestinian cause will not change, and that according to it UN Resolution 181 from 1947 (i.e., the UN partition plan, which was rejected by the Arab world; see note below) – which determines that two states will be established: Palestine and Israel – must be implemented.

During his meeting with Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine [and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice] Mahmoud Al-Habbash, which was held in São Paulo in Brazil, he added that justice is the basis for peace…

Al-Habbash said that the State of Palestine constitutes an example for all of the states of the world in everything regarding coexistence between the different religious groups in the people – the Muslims, Christians, and Samaritans – and that it has always been a role model in everything regarding the values of tolerance and comradery between the different religious groups (see note below regarding coexistence in the PA –Ed.), despite the occupation’s wretched attempts to sow the seeds of strife.

He added that the American crime against Jerusalem – [recognizing it] as the capital of the occupation state (see note below –Ed.) – harmed both the Muslims and Christians… and that it cannot be that Jesus’ city will be the capital of the State of Israel, something which the Christian world and the Islamic world oppose.”

The PA often makes claims about peaceful coexistence with members of other religions and/or respect for all monotheistic religions. However, Palestinian Muslims frequently do not coexist peacefully and respectfully with their Samaritan and Christian compatriots, nor with other Christians or Jews. The following are a few examples: a. The Samaritans now living in the Samaritan village of Kiryat Luza, on Mount Gerizim near Nablus in the West Bank, lived in Nablus until the outbreak in 1987 of the first Intifada - a Palestinian wave of violence and terror against Israel in which approximately 200 Israelis were murdered. At that time, their Muslim neighbors began to harass them, causing them to move to Mount Gerizim, where they established Kiryat Luza. b. Although officially the PA claims to treat Christians equally, it has no laws to protect freedom of religion nor does it ensure equal protection to Christians in its judicial system; its forces have attacked groups of Palestinian Christians (e.g., Beit Sahur, August 1997); clause 2 of Article 4 of the PA Basic Law specifies Shari'ah law as that "The principles of Islamic Shari'a shall be the main source of legislation;" and it has broadcast through its official media sermons with statements such as: "Allah the Almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support them, and not to sign agreements with them." [Official PA TV, Friday sermon at a mosque in Gaza by Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, Oct. 13, 2006] c. The Christian population in Bethlehem, a city of great significance for Christianity, has significantly declined - it has dropped from 85% in 1948 to 40% in 1967 and 16% in 2016. This drop in population has been caused in large part by the rise of Islamism and the systematic discrimination against and harrassment of Christians (see examples above) - factors that the Bethlehem Christian community cannot publicly speak out against for fear of repercussions. d. Only Muslims can pray at the Temple Mount; Palestinians and the Jordanian Waqf do not agree to Christian or Jewish worship at the site.

 

UN Resolution 181 (the UN partition plan for Palestine) was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947. It called for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as a separate entity under the rule of a special international body. The Arab state was meant to be comprised of the western Galilee, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and the remaining territory of the Mandate west of the Jordan River would be the state of Israel - Jordan (known at the time as Transjordan) had already been established in what had been the part of the Mandate that was east of the Jordan River. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, but Arab leaders and governments rejected it.

 

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations. The US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv and opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar.

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