PA FM condemns Israel's 'Judaization' of Jerusalem

In interview with Arab paper, Maliki laments "land rush" in east J'lem, says Arab League ignored "Islamic holy city" after hotel injunction lifted.

Malki 224 (photo credit: )
Malki 224
(photo credit: )
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki condemned the "land rush" and "Judaization" of Jerusalem, in an interview with Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday.
After Wednesday's Arab League economic summit, Malki commented to Asharq that Israel has turned the Shepherd Hotel into an outpost.
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"The occupation's land rush in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem is in full swing, working for the Judaization of many different neighborhoods of the city," he said, naming Sheikh Jarrah, Isawiya and the area near the Damascus Gate.
"When Israel announced the construction of 1400 new housing units in east Jerusalem, there were severe condemnations from the United Nations and many other parties," Malki reportedly said. "Condemnations are important...but this did not stop Israel from Judaizing the city, changing its features and bringing settlers rather than indigenous people."
"Israel is fully aware that the responses do not rise to more than condemnation and denunciation, and therefore do not bother with them and continue its aggression," Malki said. "The Lord protects Jerusalem, despite the serious assaults by Israel against its Arab, Islamic holy city."
In addition, the PA is "frustrated" by the summit's decision to postpone its planned donation to projects in Jerusalem, Asharq reported.
According to the UK-based daily, Arab leaders, meeting in Sharm e-Sheikh on Wednesday, decided to postpone their decision on giving $430 million to Jerusalem would be postponed until their next meeting, to take place this March in Bagdhad.
Malki reportedly said that he regretted that Arab leaders "ignored the Jerusalem file."
"We tried to focus on the issue of Jerusalem and the activation of projects in the city, and to remind the Arab leaders that Jerusalem is waiting for them," Malki told Asharq. "We called for swift action and urgency, and set projects for implementation in the city."
"Alas, they were rejected and will be submitted to the regular summit in March," he added.
Arab leaders at the summit drafted two resolutions related to Gaza on Wednesday. One would called for the lift of the blockade on Gaza, and the other is to help the Gazan health sector "to enable it to deal with the challenges after years of blockade," Asharq reported.