PA urges int'l pressure on heritage list

To protest Israel's move, PA holds cabinet meeting in Hebron, not Ramallah.

By
March 3, 2010 01:11
3 minute read.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

mahmoud abbas 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The Palestinian Authority has called on the international community to stop Israel from including the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem on its list of national heritage sties.

To protest the inclusion of the West Bank sites the PA wants as part of a Palestinian state, the PA held its weekly cabinet meeting in Hebron on Monday, instead of in from Ramallah as usual.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In a statement released after the meeting, the PA said the Israeli cabinet’s decision on February 21 to include the two sites on the list violated international law.

“These sites are an inseparable part of Palestinian land which has been occupied since 1967. The PA has turned to all the international bodies to demand that they oppose Israel’s decision,” the PA said.

The PA also reiterated its opposition to Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, including the construction of Jewish homes and the demolition of illegally built Arab homes, as well as the steps security personnel took on Sunday to quell Muslim rioters on the Temple Mount.

The PA asked the European Union to help stop Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.

On Monday, the EU said that Israel was harming the peace process.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement that Ashton regarded the addition of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb to the heritage list “as detrimental to the attempts to relaunch peace negotiations. The EU calls on Israel to refrain from provocative acts.”

Palestinians clashed with the IDF in Hebron for five days after the cabinet approved the list on February 21. Since then the violence has dwindled to small incidents of rock-throwing.

On Monday, a group of settler youths in Hebron, some as young as four years old, threw rocks and cursed at Palestinians, according to The Associated Press.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas warned last week that placing West Bank sites on the heritage list could lead to a religious war.

But PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told AP, “We are not going to be drawn into a cycle of violence. We are fully determined, and we count on our people understanding fully well that the best response to this... is to stay focused” on state-building.

The cave where the biblical forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are thought to be buried is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, who pray in separate sections of the complex.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he hoped the present tension over Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs was just a “rough moment, a hiccup” that could be overcome on the way to renewing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Kerry, at a Jerusalem press conference on Monday, said that access to the sites – which he said were important to Jews’ and Muslims’ understanding of their “history, culture and religions” – was shared.

Saying that he thought what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the cabinet did was “understandable” within the context of trying to “preserve and renew” the Jewish components of the sites, Kerry added that “the timing and manner of the announcement needs to be taken into account in the future context of trying to move people to dialogue.”

The move “certainly lends itself to misinterpretation without adequate explanation, and I think there is an explanation, and I think you have to be careful with these things. My caution as we go forward is we have to be thoughtful about everything we say and do so we keep a dialogue on track,” the senator said.

Regarding that dialogue, Kerry, after meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday and with Abbas in Amman on Sunday, said he was “convinced that there is a willingness in both governments to try to move forward in respect to dialogue.”

Kerry said that he was hopeful that over the next weeks and months “the process can reach a critical point where it is possible for our administration in Washington and the government here to announce something positive.” He gave no details or timetable.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections
November 18, 2018
VOICES FROM THE ARAB PRESS: TRUMP’S CLEVER POLICIES AGAINST IRAN

By MEDIA LINE