Palestinians abroad: Israel emptying Jerusalem of its national symbols

Middle East Monitor  /  June 22, 2023

The Jerusalem Committee of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad said yesterday that Israel is using a policy of deportation to empty Jerusalem of its national symbols to facilitate Jewish settlement.

According to Quds Press, this came in a statement issued following Israel’s deportation of the Deputy Director of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Najeh Bkeerat, from the holy city of Jerusalem for six months.

“The policy of the Zionist enemy will not succeed in stopping the Palestinians defending the holy sites of the Muslim Ummah in the blessed city of Jerusalem,” the statement said.

The Jerusalem Committee called for all scholar groups and governments to work on maintaining Jerusalem as an Arab city, as well as to preserve the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The committee, which lamented the silence of the Palestinian Authority and Arab governments, called for urgent intervention to prevent Bkeerat’s deportation from Jerusalem.

At the same time, the committee called for Palestinians to organize protests against Bkeerat’s deportation.

Israeli occupation authorities have issued a renewable six-month deportation order against Bkeerat, and banned him from traveling abroad over claims he is a Hamas activist.

Since 2003 Bkeerat has been deported from Al-Aqsa two dozen times for a period of over seven years. “In 2019, I was admitted into the mosque only for one week,” he has previously said.