Palestinians reject Israeli minister’s visit to East Jerusalem | News

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned on Monday the visit made the day before to Damascus Gate, in East Jerusalem, by Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid.


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In a statement released through its website, the ministry strongly rejected what it described as “a provocative incursion by (…) Lapid in the Bab al-Amud (Damascus Gate) area.”

In addition, he opposed “promises he made to extremist Jews to deploy more occupation forces and police in Jerusalem under the pretext of providing them with protection during Jewish holidays.”

The ministry denounced such promises as “an embodiment of the ugliest form of Israeli apartheid, which the occupying regime imposes on the Palestinian nation within the framework of an expansionist and colonial system that restricts and confiscates the freedom of Palestinians.”

The note states that “Israeli apartheid is exhibited this time in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and by Lapid, who is completely unaware that the territory is an occupied land.”

According to the statement, the Israeli minister “incited against the Palestinians (…) as if there were only Jewish holidays (…) showing total disregard for the existence of Muslim and Christian holidays, and denying the fact that it is the extremist Jews who who attack Christian and Islamic saints and their followers”.

Lapid’s visit to this area, accompanied by parliamentarians and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, came amid tensions caused by Palestinian resistance against the occupiers’ abuses, which include frequent arrests, attacks by settlers and demolition of houses of Palestinian families on that side of Jerusalem.

It also coincided with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. That same day, Israeli soldiers attacked people who were participating in a fasting ceremony at the Damascus Gate, an action that left ten detainees and 19 wounded.

Lapid stated during the raid that this is “a difficult and tense time, but we have a police force that we trust to see us through this complex period,” to which “we will give our full support,” he said.

Also, his presence there was condemned by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). Her spokeswoman, Muhammad Hamada, considered it a clear sign of Tel Aviv’s insistence on carrying out its sinister plans in Al-Quds and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

According to media reports, the Palestinians consider the eastern part of Jerusalem (occupied and later annexed by Israel) as their own and hope that it will be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.

Hamada blamed Israel for the escalation of tensions and made it clear that the Palestinian people will protect the city and the aforementioned temple by all means at its disposal.