I thank you for your swift response to our urgent appeal and to the formal request by Jordan, the Arab representative on the Security Council, to convene this emergency meeting to address the critical situation in Occupied East Jerusalem, which clearly has bearing on the crisis situation in the rest of Palestine as well as in the region and far beyond.
Jerusalem, the Holy City for the three monotheistic religions, was and remains the key to peace. The City is the heart of Palestine and has historically been the religious, political, social, economic and cultural center for the Palestinian people for centuries. And, Jerusalem, a theater for both conflict and peace, has always maintained an Arab and Islamic identity, and it will remain so.
Yet, Jerusalem is under siege, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues the reckless attempts to change its character, falsify its history, alter its demography, and negate Palestinian rights and connection to Jerusalem. Israeli provocations and incitement, particularly at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, home to the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Qubbat Al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock), are further inflaming this volatile situation, aggravating religious sentiments, deepening mistrust, and threatening to ignite yet another cycle of violence, including instigation of religious conflict. Such illegal Israeli actions are severely exacerbating the conflict and obstructing a peaceful solution, with grave implications.
We have thus been instructed by President Mahmoud Abbas to bring this crisis situation to the urgent attention of the Security Council, in full recognition of its Charter duty for the maintenance of international peace and security. [Read more...]