Arab delegations to visit Jerusalem Arab delegations to visit Occupied Jerusalem

March 10, 2012

Arab delegations are set to visit Al Quds (Occupied Jerusalem) and Palestinian territories in response to the invitation issued by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, his spokesman said.

“The delegations will be from Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Jordan and other Arab countries,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

“The visits are to support the Palestinians, to stress the Arab character of Jerusalem and to affirm that the Holy City is not just a Palestinian, but rather an Arab, Muslim and Christian issue,” he said.


Abu Rudeineh did not say whether the delegations would include officials and did not specify a date for the visit that would be a breakthrough in the controversy surrounding the option for Arabs and Muslims to make the trip to Jerusalem under occupation by the Israelis.


The issue gained new dimensions after Qatar-based Shaikh Yousuf Qaradawi prohibited in a fatwa non-Palestinians, regardless of their religion, from visiting Occupied Jerusalem while it is occupied, and avoid legitimising the Israeli occupation.

The scholar said that the Islamic nation as a whole should be in a position of responsibility to defend the holy city, and not only the Palestinian people.

However, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas urged, at a conference on Jerusalem in Doha last month, all Muslims and Christians to visit Occupied Jerusalem “in order to see for themselves the Israeli violations in the holy city and to affirm its Arab Muslim and Christian heritage and ties.”

Mahmoud Habbash, the endowment and religious affairs minister, called on Qaradawi to overturn the fatwa, arguing that visits to Occupied Jerusalem will challenge Israeli policies in the occupied city and show support for its Palestinian residents.

The fatwa contradicts Islamic teachings and provides a free service to the Israeli occupation that aims to isolate Occupied Jerusalem from its Arab and Islamic surroundings, he said.

Palestinians in Bahrain and elsewhere have been pushing football teams and artists to play and perform in Palestine in a show of support for the Palestinians.

Taha Mohammad Abdul Qadir, the Palestinian ambassador to Bahrain, said that “Arabs and Muslims should not equate prisoners with jailers,” referring to Palestinians and Israelis.

“Visiting Palestine does not mean in any way normalising ties with the occupiers,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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