PA: Sovereignty over Jerusalem, holy sites belongs to ‘State of Palestine’

“East Jerusalem, with its Islamic and Christian holy sites, is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine," said a PA spokesperson.

 PALESTINIANS ATTEND Eid al-Fitr prayers this week at al-Aqsa. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
PALESTINIANS ATTEND Eid al-Fitr prayers this week at al-Aqsa.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks that all decisions regarding the Haram a-Sharif (Temple Mount) and Jerusalem would be made by the government of Israel.

“These statements are misleading and incorrect, as evidenced by the continuous incursions into the Aqsa Mosque and the restrictions on worshipers in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the recent holiday celebrations,” PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said, according to a statement published by the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

“East Jerusalem, with its Islamic and Christian holy sites, is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions, the latest of which was Resolution No. 2334, which affirmed that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories, and that all forms of settlement are illegal in all Palestinian territories,” he said.

“The League of Nations Resolution of 1930 states that the ownership of the Aqsa Mosque, Al-Buraq Wall [the Western Wall] and the adjacent plaza belong to Muslims alone,” Abu Rudaineh said.

Any Israeli attempts “to legitimize its occupation of the lands of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, are unsuccessful attempts,” he said.

 Palestinians attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 1, 2022.  (credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90) Palestinians attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 1, 2022. (credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)

“The only way to achieve security, peace and stability in our region, and the world as well, is recognition of the rights of our Palestinian people and recognition of international legitimacy resolutions that stipulate the necessity of ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders,” Abu Rudaineh said.

In a speech to the cabinet on Sunday, Bennett rejected Ra’am (United Arab List) chairman Mansour Abbas’s demand to give Jordan more say over decisions on the Temple Mount.

In a Facebook post on Saturday night, Abbas wrote in Arabic he had told Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid that Ra’am’s views on the Aqsa Mosque were based on understandings between Israel and Jordan concerning the holy site.

Bennett told the cabinet: “I want to make clear that there are not nor will there be any political considerations when it comes to the war on terror, and of course all decisions regarding the Temple Mount and Jerusalem will be made by the government of Israel, which is the sovereign in the city, without taking into account any foreign considerations.”

“We of course reject any foreign interference in the decisions of the government of Israel,” he said. “Israel will of course continue to maintain proper respect for all the religions in Jerusalem as we have and will continue to do. United Jerusalem is the capital of only one state, the State of Israel.”