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Friday, October 22, 2010

Fatah says western Jerusalem is also "occupied"

Ma'an has an op-ed from Muhammad Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, complaining about the OECD Tourism conference being held in Jerusalem this week.

First, holding this conference in illegally-annexed and Israeli-occupied Jerusalem would appear to lend legitimacy to Israel's universally unrecognized claims to the city. Second, the conference, including the attention and revenue Israel will garner from it, will serve to reward Israel, despite its continuing occupation and colonization of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

...Our original request to move the meeting to another host country, or even to Tel Aviv, was rejected. Instead, the OECD decided to hold the meeting only in "West" Jerusalem, the area of Jerusalem more commonly viewed as part of Israel. Crucially, however, Israel does not differentiate between East and West Jerusalem, but covets all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided capital." Palestinians could only wonder what areas of occupied Jerusalem Israel would showcase during the meeting, given that most holy sites are located in occupied East Jerusalem, in particular in and around the Old City.
The OECD said that the meeting would not be in any area that could be construed as disputed or occupied - but the "moderates" from Fatah say otherwise.