DOHA - An international conference on Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) kicked off on Sunday, February 26, in the Qatari capital to highlight Israeli measures to judaize the holy city and erase its Arab and Islamic identity.
"What Israeli is doing in Al-Quds is definitely a clear violation of international law and the international humanitarian law and to numerous resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly concerning the rights of the Palestinian people, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani told the meeting, reported the Bahrain News Agency.
Therefore, the current status of Al-Quds requires a firm stand to face the blatant Israeli challenge which makes the Arab identity of Al-Quds in big danger."
Themed "International Conference for the Defense of Occupied Jerusalem", the conference brings together 350 representatives from 70 countries from around the globe.
Delegates will discuss "the legal status of Jerusalem before and after the Israeli occupation, the reality and the future of Jerusalem under occupation, and the status of the holy places under international law."
The three-day conference comes amid repeated attacks by Israeli extremists on Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine.
The Qatari Emir presented a proposal to go to the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution for the formation of an international investigation committee to probe all actions taken by Israel since the 1967 occupation of the holy city.
He also called on the Palestinian leadership to exert every possible effort to preserve the Arab identity of Al-Quds."There is no Palestinian State without Al-Quds and there is no Al-Quds without Al-Aqsa Mosque," the Emir said.
Al-Quds is home to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which includes Islam's third holiest shrine Al-Aqsa Mosque, and represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israel occupied the holy city in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements.
Erasing the remaining history of Arabs and Palestinians in Al-Quds, a new bill was approved by the Israeli Knesset last May that ordered Hebraizing all Arabic names of the city's neighborhoods.
Israeli Crime Blasting Israel's accelerated efforts to Judaize Al-Quds, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Arabs and Muslims to flock to the holy city to preserve its identity.
"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 occupied east Jerusalem," Abbas was quoted as saying by the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.He also accused Israel of "surrounding occupied Jerusalem with an Apartheid wall and a band of settlements in order to isolate the city from its surroundings in the West Bank."
The Palestinian leader urged Arabs and Muslims to visit Al-Quds to help preserve its Arab identity.
"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," Abbas said.Abbas also supported taking the issue of Al-Quds to the United Nations Security Council.
Ahmed Tibi, the Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, called the Judaization of Al-Quds an Israeli crime.
Israel is an occupying power in East Jerusalem, Tibi said.
It prevents Palestinians from their freedom of religion.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said that peace will not be established in the Middle East without solving the Palestinian conflict, including the issue of Al-Quds."Without the liberation of Jerusalem, no real peace and stability can be achieved in the Middle East or farther afield," he told the AnadÄ±lu Agency in Doha.
Atalay said that Al-Quds "a captive city in the hands of Israel," had to be freed of Israeli occupation if a lasting settlement was to reign in the Middle East.