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EU: Israel’s Plans in Jerusalem Threaten Religious Equilibrium

The European Union yesterday warned that Israeli Jewish expansionist plans in and around occupied East Jerusalem threaten to “alter permanently the character of numerous holy sites and undermine the established religious equilibrium,” Anadolu news agency reported.

In a joint statement, the office of the European Union Representative in the occupied Palestinian territories, Alexandre Stutzmann, and the heads of the European Union mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, said they met with representatives of several Christian churches at the Mount of Olives.

“Along with Jewish and Muslim holy sites, the Mount of Olives is home to numerous Christian communities and holy sites, connected by paths of Christian pilgrimage,” the statement said.

“A number of pending projects in and around Jerusalem’s Old City threaten to alter permanently the character of numerous holy sites and undermine the established religious equilibrium,” it said, warning that such projects include “an expansion of the National Park on the Mount of Olives and the plan to build a cable car in Jerusalem’s historic core. Pursuing these plans could have a detrimental impact on the holy sites, the paths of pilgrimage and the viability of Jerusalem’s communities. It would pose a serious threat to the special status of Jerusalem as well as to the peaceful coexistence of all three monotheistic religions in Jerusalem.”

“The European Union calls for the upholding of the Status Quo, including for Christian holy sites. The special status and character of Jerusalem and its Old City, the inviolability of its sacred spaces, and the viability of all its communities must be preserved and respected by all,” it added.

Israel recently announced a plan to confiscate church lands in the Mount of Olives under the pretext of expanding the “National Park”.

The Israeli occupation authorities have in recent days also decided to evacuate 30 families from their homes in the Bab Al-Magharibah area near the Old City, and to confiscate the land on which the homes were built for the purpose of establishing a cable car station.

The air train is due to start in West Jerusalem and travel to the Mount of Olives, and the Mughrabi Gate area near the Buraq Wall, which the Jews refer to as the Western or Wailing Wall, adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The structure for the transport system will be erected on Palestinian land, some of which belongs to the church.

Source : MEMO