Member of the organisation for Palestinian Endowments and Religious Affairs in Gaza, Ismail Ridwan, revealed on Tuesday a $6m Israeli plan to judaise Jerusalem and alter its Arabic appearance.
Ridwan was speaking at a conference held in Gaza to commemorate 46 years of occupation of the old city and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. A significant number of Palestinian scholars and senior officials of political factions attended it.
Ridwan lamented the occupation of the holy city by the Israelis and considered it “the prime loss for Arab and Islamic countries during the 20th century.” He called it a “real disaster” that shook the dignity of the Arabs and Muslims.
Regarding the current situation of the city, Ridwan said: “Jerusalem is in real danger. There is a massive plan to reinforce the Jewish presence in all areas of the holy city, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” He also criticised the repeated “desecration” by Israeli officials and settlers.
The Minister warned of an Israeli plan to divide the Sanctity Yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. “There is an imminent plan to divide it based on time and place,” he said. “They are planning to replicate the plan applied in the Abrahamic Mosque in Hebron.”
He also said that the new Jewish plan includes the building of 100 synagogues in different parts of Jerusalem. A big number of them would be built in the old city, according to him.
Calling for all people, mainly Arabs and Muslims, to undermine the Israeli plan, Ridwan said: “We call on all people and the whole Umma to say that Jerusalem is in real danger. The Arab League and The Organisation of Islamic Conference have to take responsibility for protecting and defending the third holiest place in their religion.”
Meanwhile, during his speech, the head of Muslim Religious scholars, Sheikh Salem Salameh, called for all Arab and Muslim states which maintain relations with Israel to cut those relations.
He said it is not appropriate for them to continue their relations while Israel while it repeatedly tarnishes Islam’s religious heritage through its repeated attack on Jerusalem.
Ridwan thanked the residents of the holy city for their steadfastness and their insistence on living there despite the continuous Israeli aggressions and harassment against them.
The Minister pointed out that Jewish extremism is behind the efforts to Judaise Jerusalem and to put pressure on Arabs to leave it. Ridwan also referred to the prominent Israeli rabbi, Ovadia Yuosif, who once said that “Arabs are less than insects and have to be crushed by shoes.”
On his part, the Islamic Jihad leader, Mohammed al-Hindi, said that the Arab revolutions are one of the signs that usher in Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem being undermined. He criticised the campaigns that criticise the revolutions.
Al-Hindi praised the Arab revolutions for raising the name of Palestine within their marches and other activities, as well as because most of the rebels leaders spoke frankly about new policies to deal with the Palestinian issue which would be different than those of the deposed authoritarian regimes.