(Jerusalem) Maisa Abu Ghazaleh
Sunday, 15 April 2007
A Muslim and Christian petition is out on behalf of Al Aqsa Mosque. As is much of the nonviolent resistance to Israeli destruction at the Muslim holy site, the petition is sponsored by head of the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah.
Organizers have gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures as part of efforts to stop Israeli excavations and their devastating impact at the Muslim holy site in East Jerusalem's Old City.
Aimed at Palestinians living within Israeli boundaries, the petition reads in part, “We, the undersigned, representing the entire spectrum of Palestinian society, men and women, young and old, from Jerusalem and the Naqab, the Galilee and the Triangle, and the coastal cities of Haifa, Jaffa, Lod and Ramle...pronounce our support for Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa Mosque, and other Islamic and Christian holy places.”
Signatories pledge to “work using all legitimate means to expose the crimes of the occupation and address its aims to Judaize the holy city, its gradual destruction and confiscation of Al Aqsa and other Islamic and Christian holy places.”
Within the petition are three-points, the first of which is addressed to the present Arab and Muslim leaders in science, politics and civil society. It demands that they assume responsibility for Jerusalem and its "sacred shrines."
The second letter is addressed to the Palestinian Presidency, government and all factions, to agree on a clear strategy. They must work with the complete understanding that Jerusalem remains the capital and that no one has the authority to negotiate away that legitimate right.
The third point addresses international humanitarian organizations to “curb the spread of Israeli hysteria” and implement international law in order to put an end to the “continuing crimes in the city of Jerusalem.”
President of the Council of Muftis, Sheikh Khalid Ghaneim, said that the petition and its signatories illustrate "the profound loyalty to Al Aqsa Mosque and the utter rejection of any attacks against it."
The Sheikh said that the petition will be presented to the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.