PFLP: Time for action to confront occupation crimes in Jerusalem

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine urges all friends of Palestine and progressive, justice-oriented and revolutionary forces around the world to mobilize the widest possible solidarity actions with the Palestinian people in Jerusalem who are under attack and under siege, daily confronting cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and Israeli war crimes. The Front also urges Palestinian and Arab communities around the world to mobilize in defense of their sisters and brothers in Jerusalem and the entire Palestinian people.

In particular, the leadership of the Front urged its supporters, friends and allies to condemn the occupation actions against the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, and to organize demonstrations, rallies, and political and direct actions at all levels to confront racist Israeli policies and attempts to isolate the Palestinian people in Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine.

Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP, said that “our people will not be suppressed, not in Gaza, nor in the West Bank, not in occupied Palestine ’48, nor in the diaspora, nor in Jerusalem, where there a great popular uprising has been ignited.”

In a statement, the Front saluted the resistance in Jerusalem, and the martyr Ibrahim al-Akkari, and called for “support for the popular intifada in Jerusalem, strengthening and widening the uprising in the towns and the streets of Jerusalem,” emphasizing the importance of the participation of all Palestinians, Arabs and popular movements in these actions.

Khaled Barakat

Khaled Barakat

Commenting on the escalation in Jerusalem, Comrade Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer, said that “Israel is committing war crimes and attempting a social and cultural genocide against our people in Jerusalem. The latest escalations against our Palestinian people in Jerusalem include mass arrests, demolition of homes, confiscation of land, construction of colonies, announcements of new colonies, the closure of Al-Aqsa mosque, attacks on holy sites, attempts to partition the Haram al-Sharif, intensifying attacks on youth and students, doubling and quadrupling the presence of occupation police and soldiers in the area, placing hundreds of new cameras in the streets of Jerusalem to surveil Palestinians, particularly in Arab neighborhoods, increased confiscation of Jerusalem IDs and the confiscation of thousands over past years, and the creation of new lengthy prison sentences for ‘stone throwing.’”

“All of these actions by the occupation represent its failure to crush the popular movement that arose in Jerusalem after the killing of Mohammed Abu Khudeir. Israel waged a massive war against our people in Gaza, partially in an attempt to defuse and suppress a Palestinian uprising in Jerusalem, occupied Palestine ’48 and the West Bank that was growing daily. Even its massive crimes in Gaza could not suppress the rising of the people. The occupier can delay, but it cannot escape an imminent intifada,” said Barakat.

“International actions are needed to support the uprising in Jerusalem, including mass demonstrations in the cities of the world against the racist attacks and policies in Jerusalem, and actions to put serious pressure on the United Nations, international institutions and the complicit governments of imperialist powers and their tools. It is critical to monitor and expose Israeli crimes, and support the Palestinian people’s popular institutions and movements in Palestine and in particular in Jerusalem by organizing delegations, building solidarity, and intensifying boycott campaigns and the isolation of the occupation state, building on the immense mobilizations that have taken place in support of Gaza and demanding the boycott and isolation of the settler colonial racist occupier,” Barakat said.

“We must be prepared, and we must organize to make November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a day and a week of action internationally in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for return and liberation, and to defend Jerusalem and Palestine. And the weeks leading up to November 29 must also be weeks of mobilization and support for our people on the front lines in Jerusalem.”

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“For the past twenty years Israel has engaged in a systematic process of isolating Jerusalem from the West Bank and the rest of Palestine,” Barakat said. “Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza cannot access their capital. Israel’s isolation of Jerusalem from the rest of the Palestinian people and Palestinian land is part and parcel of a systematic racist Zionist policy that runs counter to any standard of human rights. It is an attempt to break the steadfastness of the Palestinian Jerusalemites and to reshape the city through importing settlers and colonizers, in an attempt to remove the Palestinian and Arab character of the city. Palestinians in Jerusalem are under siege, from all sides faced with the ongoing and systematic theft of their right to live in their city and their Jerusalem identity cards; closure and partition of their sacred holy sites; the massive officially-sanctioned influx of occupation colonizers; the closure of their neighborhoods and constant military attacks, raids and arrests.”

“The resistance will continue in Jerusalem by all means until it is liberated. Those who are struggling today in Jerusalem and confronting the Israeli occupiers are the new Palestinian generation that was born after the great betrayal of the Oslo agreement. This generation was not fooled or misled by the rhetoric of the Oslo era. It must be noted that the absence of the Palestinian Authority in the Jerusalem area is in fact encouraging the growth, continuation and strength of the resistance,” Barakat said.

In addition, he noted, “it is important to expose the Zionist discourse that is trying to promote the conflict in Palestine and in Jerusalem as a religious conflict. It is not a religious conflict and never was a religious conflict. They are trying to portray this as a conflict of ‘Muslims and Jews.’ Instead this is a people’s movement under occupation for freedom and liberation, confrontong a racist settler colonial occupier that is attempting to undermine and destroy the indigenous Palestinian and Arab character of the city by all means.”

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“The occupation’s policy of imposing high taxes on Jerusalem, forcing Palestinians into poverty; gentrification as a form of displacement; and inducing Palestinians to sell their homes through subterfuge and manipulation are all part of an organized assault on Palestinians in Jerusalem,” Barakat said. “Jerusalem is a representation of the struggle of the Palestinian people for over 66 years, for 100 years, to defend their rights on their land. The towns around Jerusalem, centers of resistance and popular struggle, like Beit Hanina and Issawiya, are being pushed into concentrated areas as their land is confiscated before their eyes. Shuafat Refugee Camp, where Palestinian refugees have been struggling for their right to return for over 66 years, is repeatedly invaded and attacked, under siege from all sides. What do the occupiers expect? Of course they will meet the anger and the resistance of the people!”

“This is in fact happening in every Palestinian city and village, from Haifa to the Naqab to Gaza to the West Bank – the occupier displacing Palestinians and confiscating their land, the constant practice and the racist nature of Zionism. The occupier is importing settlers from New York, Toronto, Paris and elsewhere to replace the Palestinians who have lived in their city for centuries, who are the indigenous people of the land,” Barakat said.

“This is happening before the eyes of the so-called ‘international community,’ meeting the silence of Ban Ki-Moon who condemns the resistance of our people defending their lives and their land. It is happening while the Arab League is busy acting as puppets and tools for imperialists yet takes no real action to protect ‘sacred Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority and Palestinian capitalists are marketing the people of Jerusalem. Abu Ala’ Qureia, responsible for the ‘Jerusalem file,’ is known to be one of the orchestrators of Oslo and also used to sell cement to the Israelis for his profit and their construction of the apartheid wall. It is complicit in the isolation and crimes against Palestinians in Jerusalem, in shamelessly spreading the term ‘East Jerusalem’ and dividing the city rhetorically; not supporting the struggles of Jerusalemites; encouraging partnerships between Palestinian and Israeli capitalists while the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem mounts; not addressing Jerusalem in the international arena; and reports of new agreements with the Israelis to separate prisoners of Jerusalem from other Palestinian prisoners,” said Barakat.

Barakat also warned that “the campaign to defend Jerusalem and Palestine must not be limited in its demands and slogans of struggle, to the defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is under attack, closure, and threat by Zionist military, political and settler forces. It is not only about the sacred place of Al-Aqsa, but about all of Palestine and its capital. Unfortunately, some forces, intentionally or not, limit the frame of reference to only Al-Aqsa, which can feed into the Zionist discourse that the struggle in Jerusalem is a religious conflict.”

“Jerusalem today is in the forefront of popular resistance, just as Gaza stands in the forefront of armed resistance. We must address Jerusalem as part of the whole of Palestine and the entire Palestinian cause. Jerusalem was, is and always will be the unified eternal capital of Palestine. This city has a very special place in the hearts and minds of all Arabs, and all of the people of the region. It must not be held under the occupation of a racist, Zionist settler colonial regime. And this applies equally to every inch of the land of Palestine,” Barakat said.