Jerusalem isn’t Israel’s capital, Palestinian official says after Bahrain summit

Kushner, Greenblatt are ‘amateurs,’ he told UN forum.

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June 27, 2019 22:07
4 minute read.
Jewish women march while police patrol in the Old City during Jerusalem Day, 2019

Jewish women march while police patrol in the Old City during Jerusalem Day, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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Jerusalem isn’t the capital of Israel, Palestinian Social Affairs Minister Ahmed Majdalani told a United Nations forum on the status of Jerusalem that gathered in Geneva just one day after the US held an economic forum in Bahrain about a $50 billion plan for Palestinians should a peace deal be achieved.

“The international community has recognized no portion of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Majdalani said.

He spoke at a conference a UN headquarter, that took place on the sidelines of the 41st session for the UN Human Rights Council. It was organized by one of the most pro-Palestinian UN groups, the Committee for the Question of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. speakers, including UN officials, Palestinians, NGO representatives and ambassadors, spoke against Israeli activities in Jerusalem and affirmed that east Jerusalem was the “occupied capital” of the “Palestinian state.”

The status of Jerusalem can not be unilaterally changed and must be in keeping with UN resolutions and international understandings, he said.

Many of the speakers spoke against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, the first economic portion of which was discussed Tuesday and Wednesday in Bahrain at a workshop led by Trump’s envoy and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The PA dismissed the Bahrain workshop and many Palestinians chose not to attend.

Among the most vocal was Majdalani, who referenced the 1947 Resolution 181, which set up Jerusalem as an international entity, even though he similarly spoke of east Jerusalem as the “Palestinian capital.”

Majdalani spoke of Trump’s envoys, Kushner and Greenblatt as “amateurs.” He also accused Trump of forcing a resolution on Jerusalem by relocating the US embassy there in 2018 and closing the US consulate the representative office to the Palestinian people.

“The US is attempting to force all international stakeholders to accept this situation as a fait accompli,” Majdalani said.

Closure of the consulate “represents a message to the Palestinian people that they do not constitute an independent entity, but rather a minority whose rights are subordinate to the Israeli people,” he said.

It “also represents a message from the US that they do not consider the Palestinian people to be a people deserving of rights,” he added.

Essentially, the US, is “Imposing a one-state solution” with two regimes, he said.

It attempting to hide its actions under a fig leaf of “economic peace,” he added.

He called on all members of the international community to unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state.

Nazmi Al Jubeh, Associate Professor of History and Archaeology, Birzeit University, told he gathering that there was no scientific evidence linking Jews to Jerusalem, dismissing the artifacts which has been uncovered linking Jews to the Biblical city, including the remnants of its Temple.

In Ramallah Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he briefed Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on the latest developments in Palestine and huge challenges and suffering facing the Palestinians. 

Accusing Israel of controlling Palestinians’ natural resources and lands, Abbas also lashed out at Israel for “unjustly” deducting payments made by the PA to families of security prisoners and “martyrs” from tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinians. He also accused Israel of continuing its “assaults” on Christian and Islamic holy sites.

Abbas said during a joint press conference with the Chilean president in Ramallah that Israel was undermining chances of achieving peace in the region based on the two-state solution and international resolutions.

He also accused the US of taking “punitive measures” against the Palestinians and said Washington was no longer qualified to act as a sponsor in the peace process between Palestinians and Israel. The US, Abbas said, “has encouraged Israel to consider Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel and annex the Golan Heights and some areas in the West Bank.”

Abbas said that he told the Chilean president that the Palestinians remain committed to peace despite all the US measures on the basis of international resolutions and agreements signed with Israel, as well as the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

“We are ready to work with an international multi-part mechanism to sponsor the negotiations [with Israel] and continue building Palestinian institutions,” the PA president said. “At the same time, we say that Palestinian national rights are not real estates that can be bought and sold with money. Achieving a political solution that guarantees freedom, dignity and independence for our people should precede any economic plans or projects because that will create security and stability for all.”

Abbas said that this was the reason why the Palestinians did not participate in the American economic workshop that was held this week in Bahrain.

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