Israel seeks to change history of occupied Jerusalem
Ramallah: Israel has set up “Arab and Muslim heritage tents” — with Jewish narrative propaganda — around Al Aqsa Mosque at Al Haram Al Sharif, desecrating the true roots of the holy city in a fresh move to Judaise the geninue heritage of occupied East Jerusalem.
Fakhri Abu Diyab, who heads the local committee in defence of occupied Jerusalem, said that having stolen the land, Israel was now looting the Arab and Muslim heritage and history of Jerusalem.
The occupation forces put up the traditional Arab tents on Wednesday, complete with Arabic coffee sets and carpets, and camels at the entrances. But several tour guides are providing visitors with the Jewish narrative of Jerusalem’s history in several languages.
Abu Diyab said: “They claim that Arab and Muslim life in Jerusalem was a mere scene of the Jewish civilisation. Undisputed, basic Arab traditions are claimed to be Jewish customs, and the Jewish narrative tries to establish that Jews introduced these kinds of traditions and way of life to the global civilisation.”
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He said Israel’s systematic plans to root out the Arab and Muslim identity in the holy city were difficult to counter, especially in the absence of the right to present the Arab or Muslim narrative. He stressed that Arab and Muslim heritage and history was on the verge of disappearing.
Abu Diyab said Israel had been blocking Palestinian attempts to register historical locations with international institutions as international heritage sites.
“Now is the time for Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims to act to protect their history and heritage in the holy city,” said Abu Diyab. “It’s now or never.”
Israel captured and annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War. It currently refuses to negotiate the status of the holy city with Palestinians. Israel wants an undivided Jerusalem as its eternal capital, whereas Palestinians see occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
The question of the occupied East Jerusalem’s status was key in the collapse of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel in April 2014. In October 2016, the UN cultural and heritage body, Unesco, rejected claims of a Jewish connection to Al Haram Al Sharif and Al Aqsa Mosque (the third holiest site in Islam).
Palestinians believe that far-right Jewish groups have been trying to expand Jewish worshipping rights in the holy shrine. According to a decades-old agreement, Jews are allowed to visit the site but strictly banned from praying there.