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HE. Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process

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Abbas urges Arabs to visit J'lem, fight Judaization of city
2012-02-26

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called on Arabs and Muslims to visit Jerusalem in the face of what he called Israel's accelerated efforts to Judaize the city. Speaking at the International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem in Doha, Qatar, Abbas was quoted by the Palestinian Ma'an news agency as saying, "The Israeli occupation authorities are using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab-Islamic and the Christian character of east Jerusalem." The Palestinian Authority president accused Israel of "surrounding Jerusalem with an Apartheid wall and a band of settlements in order to isolate the city from its surroundings in the West Bank." Abbas slammed Israeli authorities for setting up barriers preventing Palestinians from entering Jerusalem without "almost impossible to obtain" permits. He implored Arabs and Muslims from other countries to visit Jerusalem if they can. "This move will have political, moral, economic and humanitarian repercussions, showing that Jerusalem belongs to all of us and no one can stop us from accessing it." He added that visiting "occupied Jerusalem" would remind the Israelis that "Jerusalem is the cause of every Arab, Muslim and Christian," and would not constitute normalization with Israel. The International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem was taking place for the first time Sunday. This followed a decision made by delegates to last year’s Arab summit in Libya to hold an annual international conference that would include Arab and foreign countries and civil institutions, to discuss defending Jerusalem “against Israeli violation at all levels.” United Arab List-Ta'al MKs Taleb a-Sanaa and Ahmed Tibi attended the conference, prompting Likud MK Danny Danon to call for their ouster from the Knesset as "enemies of the state."

Jerusalem Post