Abu Halabiya: 2010 is a decisive year for the future of the Aqsa Mosque

Abu Halabiya: 2010 is a decisive year for the future of the Aqsa Mosque

Dr. Ahmed Abu Halabiya, the rapporteur of the parliamentary Jerusalem committee, warned Wednesday that 2010 would be a decisive year for the future of the Aqsa Mosque after Israel seriously intensified its Judaization activities in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Dr. Abu Halabiya, who is also the head of Al-Quds international institution, added in a statement that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) would work on dividing the holy Mosque between Muslims and Jews who would be given the southwestern side of the Mosque for their rituals.

He stressed that the attitude of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its negotiators and the international complicity as well as the Arab silence encouraged the IOA to escalate its attacks on the Mosque and Judaization activities in Jerusalem.

The rapporteur noted that the Israeli decision which prevented Sheikh Ra’ed Salah from entering the Aqsa Mosque and then the imprisonment sentence issued against him is a planned and deliberate step aimed to keep him away from the Mosque as a prelude to taking it over.

The rapporteur also pointed to the serious remarks made by head of the municipal council in Jerusalem Nir Barakat in which he said that the increasing number of Palestinians in the holy city is a strategic threat.

In another development, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper revealed an Israeli plan to reduce the presence of international organizations working in Jerusalem, saying the Israeli interior ministry stopped granting work permits to foreign nationals working in organizations in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The new limitations do not apply to 12 organizations that have been active in the West Bank prior to 1967 including the Red Cross and several Christian organizations.

The ministry is now granting the employees in these organizations tourist visas only, which bar them from working, the newspaper said.

For his part, Hamas lawmaker Mahmoud Mosleh strongly denounced Israel for working on increasing the Jewish presence in the 1948 occupied lands and Jerusalem, displacing Palestinian families in Jaffa city and demolishing homes in the towns of Lod and Ramle.

In a statement, Mosleh considered that bringing more Jews to Palestine, displacing families, tearing down homes, withdrawing IDs from Palestinians are proactive steps to impose a fait accompli on the ground.

He also warned of the Israel repeated violations against the Aqsa Mosque and holy places in Jerusalem, affirming that this Israeli escalation dealt a blow to those who are scurrying behind Israel and begging it for negotiation.