Some 13,000 Jerusalemites are threatened with forced displacement from the occupied Old City of Jerusalem in order to make way for Jewish-only homes, synagogues, biblical gardens and museums, the Adviser to the Palestinian President's Office for Jerusalem Affairs, Ahmed Al-Ruwaidi, warned.
In a statement issued yesterday, Al-Ruwaidi said the Israeli authorities' excavations and the opening of tunnels in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque aim to strengthen Jewish settlement in the vicinity of the Old City, and force Palestinian Jerusalemites to leave for fear of the excavations carried out under their homes or the policy of forced displacement implemented by the Israeli authorities against them for years.
He pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities seek to present an artificial Talmudic narrative that has no historical basis at the expense of the historical reality of the Arab Canaanite heritage.
"We have been working for months to collect the largest amount of historical documents that reflect the truth and narration of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings," he said, stressing that all ancient and Ottoman documents and narratives until today confirm that the city is Arab and highlight its Islamic and Christian history.
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"All the collected documents bear the same historical truth, and do not provide any indication of any Talmudic narrative that the [Israeli] occupation is trying to promote," Al-Ruwaidi said, calling on UNESCO to shoulder its legal responsibilities by sending an urgent investigation committee to probe the violation of the cultural heritage in Jerusalem, which has been registered on the World Heritage List since 1981.
"Despite the importance of the decisions issued by this organisation, its decision to send an investigation committee has not been implemented, because the occupation authorities have previously prevented the arrival of its delegation to Jerusalem, which does not justify the continued delay," he said.
He pointed out that all the excavations carried out by the occupation authorities in the so-called Holy Basin revealed Roman and Islamic antiquities, based on what was published by Israeli archaeologists.
"We, commissioned by President Mahmoud Abbas, are working with specialised Arab and Islamic organisations to collect all historical documents related to Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque," he said, pointing to the importance of strengthening the Arab narrative.