A commemorative stamp entitled “Al Quds – the Capital of Palestine” has been issued by the UAE in support of the occupied state.
In collaboration with Arab Postal Authorities, Emirates Post is presenting 25,000 stamps as a message of support to Palestine.
The stamps feature an image of the Dome of the Rock Mosque which sits in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and the flag of Palestine, along with a white dove symbolising peace.
According to Emirates Post, the exclusive “Al Quds – capital of Palestine” stamp aims to uphold the cultural importance the city holds in the eyes of Arabs, and it comes amid increasing violent attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers.
Countless times, Jewish settlers have forced their way into the Muslim holy site while Palestinian worshippers have been banned from entry.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
And in 2017, US President Donald Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the US embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to the holy city, which prompted global protests and condemnation.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital – a move never recognised by the international community.
The move to provide the stamps comes after a decision was made in a meeting that was held in March 2018 in Muscat, Oman, during which the Arab Permanent Postal Committee agreed to provide the distinguished stamps in every Arab country, in response to Palestine’s request.
Commenting on this move, Obaid Al Qatami, acting chief commercial officer of Emirates Post Group, said: “Such initiatives are proof that all Arab countries continue to stand by Palestine and support Al Quds’ cause, as well as a confirmation of the existing national ties and the special status Al Quds holds as an Arabic city and an important religious landmark.”
“It embodies the pivotal role of Emirates Post in issuing a diverse and enriched portfolio of stamps and in collaborating with other postal authorities in the region to highlight shared milestones and important causes.”
This show of support comes as Israeli-Emirati relations reached new heights in 2018, against the backdrop of Israel’s efforts to normalise ties with Arab countries.
In August the same year, Israeli journalist Edy Cohen claimed that an Emirati pilot participated in the bombing of Palestinian targets in the besieged Gaza Strip during his training on Israeli Air Force F-35 fighters in July.
Cohen also accused Dubai’s Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security, General Dhahi Khalfan, of being complicit in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010.
In addition, Palestinian officials say many Palestinians have been forced to leave UAE in recent months.
Hussam Ahmed, head of the Refugee Affairs Department in the Gaza Strip, told Reuters: “This is an operation of mass displacement of Palestinians in the UAE, especially those of Gaza origins, without known reasons other than security pretexts.”
He said many did not have passports and Arab states would not accept them with the travel documents they have.