Alwaght- Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Sunday Israeli Regime “insists on sabotaging international efforts” for peace after the hardline Netanyahu held his security cabinet meeting in tunnels located underneath the al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
“We condemn in the strongest terms the latest provocation by Israel, holding its weekly [cabinet meeting] in the tunnels beneath al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in occupied East al-Quds,” PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Muslims after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
While Tel Aviv regime typically holds its weekly meeting of the security cabinet in the office of hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli authorities, in a provocative measure, decided to hold it Western Wall tunnels on Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of occupation of East al-Quds in 1967.
The ultra-right religious Zionist community storms the Old City each year on the same day Palestinians remember the “Naksa,” meaning “setback,” referring to the mass displacement that accompanied the apartheid regime's takeover of the Palestinian territory.
In a war in 1967, Israeli regime occupied the West Bank and East al-Quds, and Gaza Strip. Since then, Tel Aviv has continued to expand its illegal settlements and other projects in the area.
Erekat added that by deciding “to mark 50 years of occupation, and the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan” in the tunnels, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “sending a clear message to the Palestinian people that the systematic violations of their inalienable rights are going to continue.”
“Today’s meeting in occupied East al-Quds is an attempt by Israel to normalize occupation, oppression and colonization over the land and people of Palestine,” he stressed.
During the meeting, Netanyahu notably announced plans to establish a new cable car project linking the First Station Complex in West al-Quds to the Old City’s Moroccans’ Gate located near the Western Wall and the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Such a project, would in effect limit tourists’ exposure to Palestinian parts of East al-Quds, and further use the industry as what critics have called a plot to Judaize al-Quds city.
A representative of the Islamic organization Taawon in Palestine, Ahmad al-Reweidi, told Voice of Palestine radio station that the cable car project was an attempt to “Judaize” Jerusalem and erase the city’s Islamic heritage, adding that he would carry out all legal and political efforts to stop the project.
The security cabinet meeting also comes days after Netanyahu vowed that the al-Aqsa Mosque compound -- known to Israelis as the Temple Mount -- and the Western Wall would “remain forever under Israeli sovereignty."
PLO Secretary-General also denounced the international community’s inaction as being a major factor leading Israeli regime to continue violating international law.
“Israel’s unprecedented culture of impunity has been encouraged by a number of countries that continue to assure Israel that no concrete action will be taken to end Israel's decades of systematic violations of its obligations under international law and UN resolutions,” he said. “It is no longer acceptable that after 50 years of the Israeli occupation for countries to claim to support the two-state solution while giving assurances to Israel that there will be no consequences for its illegal actions.”
“Marking 50 years of occupation is a shame for all the international system,” Erekat concluded.