Rassegna Esteri

Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem live under the Zionist threat

Tehran Times Khaled al-Qaddoumi, the Hamas representative in Tehran, says that the Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem live under the Zionist suppression.

“The Muslims and Christians of Jerusalem live under the Zionist threat through the annexation of spaces, the Judaization of the Islamic places, and changing some places, whether Christian or Islamic, into a Jewish identity,” Qaddoumi tells the Tehran Times.

The Hamas representative says the extremist Zionist groups in Quds want to desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque while the Israeli authorities welcome and promote such decisions. 

“They want to change the demography of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque by increasing the number of Jews in the city and the neighborhood of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Qaddoumi states.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: What are the reasons behind Britain’s move to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization?

A: I want to divide the answer into three titles: The first is the position of the British colonial government in establishing and cultivating the Zionist entity in 1948 through the Balfour Declaration.

Today, the U.S. administration is continuing this course by the deal of the century, moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal united capital of the Zionist regime.

Unfortunately, Britain has always been the main pivot in creating humanitarian disasters for the Palestinian people by implanting the Zionist entity in the body of Islamic Ummah. The primary and essential responsibility lies with the arrogant powers led by Britain at that time and now.

Unfortunately, this scenario is continuing to establish the Zionist entity and depriving us from our rights by planting this criminal terrorist regime in the Palestinian lands.

The second title is the position of the British government, in particular the position of Priti Patel as home secretary who has a dark history in meeting with the Israeli extremists and her support for the Zionist regime.

But at the same time, we do not want to absolve the British government of responsibility for this issue. The decision is now under study in the British Parliament and House of Lords while it had been announced and approved by the British home secretary.

Therefore, the government’s position now is not isolated from the minister’s position, because the head of the Defense Committee in the British parliament says that Hamas is a terrorist organization and urges Hamas to enter a political process.

So, everybody knows that the main reason for this move is political and that the decision is politicized while it has nothing to do with the nature of Hamas, whether it is a terrorist or a non-terrorist organization.

It is political blackmail. And political pressure is exercised by this government and its terrorist minister, who has a preconceived and biased position against Palestine. 

Neither the world, nor British people, can accept dragging the government to such a wrong decision by a criminal terrorist figure like the home secretary.

As for the third title, I should say that this move is intended to put pressure on the resistance axis and the Palestinian people in order to force them to succumb to the settlement projects, and perhaps the deal of the century. Such a step comes in this context, and therefore these reasons are complementary elements since Britain is primarily responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe that happened to our Palestinian people.

Priti Patel is notorious for her preconceived attitudes against Palestine and she doesn’t care about terrorism at all. Therefore, the decision is a politicized step par excellence, and they want to use the livelihood of people to pressure and blackmail them.

That is violating all the democratic rules that govern the world and govern humanity in the twenty-first century, a century of dialogue.

With such a decision, they are returning to the age of stone and the era of terrorism led by the Zionist movement, which arose on the “chest of our Arab and Islamic Ummah”.

They have taken a condemnable and censurable move that has no basis other than making false claims that have nothing to do with facts; it is an attempt to falsify reality by political pressure.

The Palestinian people know how to respond to these steps. Our people -with all their political and intellectual groups- have rejected these steps, as we have witnessed the positions of Palestinian movements and organizations, regardless of their affiliations. We appreciate and thank these noble stances.

Q: What are the steps and reactions of Hamas to confront the recent British move?

A: We took comprehensive moves, just like our political and diplomatic resistance, besides steps to activate the resistance against the occupying regime whose prime minister expressed his welcome for such a decision (by the British home secretary) because it supports his criminal acts.

We have communicated with all the concerned authorities in the Arab-Islamic community at the official and popular levels, as well as with activities in Europe and all around the world, to confront such a decision that will undermine Palestinians’ rights. Britain’s move is in fact honoring the executioner instead of condemning him.

Even human rights organizations and their reports denounce the Zionists’ crimes and acknowledge that Hamas is a national liberation movement that is established to manage daily, crucial and strategic issues in Gaza.

Therefore, this move was carried out within the political and diplomatic framework through communication with some governments, and here the Iranian reaction stands as an advanced model.

The official and popular activities in Iran represented in the statement and position of Dr. Amir Abdollahian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he rejected this step and expressed his support for the Palestinian people are appreciable.

And also the positions of the Parliament’s committees and media outlets that joined hands to reject this decision were considerable. Thanks are also directed to them, as well as to the non-governmental organizations working in Palestine and some popular groups that organized intellectual activities and movements in rejecting this step as an anti-democratic step. Hamas is a democratically elected movement by its people to defend the Palestinians’ rights.

The other point is that the Palestinian people, who always take the initiative, carried out heroic operations like the Bab al-Silsilah operations; this great operation is done by martyr Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, whose name will remain immortal in history.

This heroic Mujahid carried out this operation in Bab al-Silsilah on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the faithful Syrian fighter who came out of the mosque, moved towards the battlefield with his knowledge and will to confront the Zionist regime and to respond to everyone who says that the Palestinians are terrorist.

Martyr Fadi confronted an Israeli soldier and proved that we care about the rights of the Palestinians and know how to defend ourselves.

This right (self-defense) is guaranteed by all the international laws and divine books, as this brave martyr used to repeat it when the world was negligent. This is the message of the martyr, who always said that heroism is to stand in face of the criminals and to confront the oppressors.

The question is that why the British government, which supplies the Zionist regime with weapons to kill our children, is not ashamed of all these crimes. Does it think that the world is blind or deaf?

They contribute to the crimes exercised against the Palestinian people and accuse us of terrorism, but they are the real terrorists. We are a national liberation movement, a movement that set an example in defending the Palestinian rights by its commitment to national democracy; our weapon is against the Zionist regime, and we adhere to national consensus.

Q: How do you see the reaction of the Arab-Islamic world to this decision?

A: In fact, we see a diversity of reactions from the official and popular sides; there are praiseworthy reactions that accompanied this step, while there is a model that I talked about in the previous question, which is the Iranian model. Iranians at official and popular levels rejected and condemned this decision, stressing that Hamas is a liberation movement and a national resistance organization.

There were also other popular activities at the level of Arab and Islamic world. For example, by Tunisia, Kuwait, Malaysia and Pakistan. They organized cross-border academic forums and activities from Europe to the (Persian) Gulf, which condemned this decision and even accused the British government of sponsoring terrorism.

We thank these responses and consider them fundamental and solid positions. Everyone who has a sense of humanity and patriotism is required to rationally condemn this decision.

Hamas is a resistance movement against the occupation and a usurping regime, which all international institutions recognize as colonialism, and the United Nations commented on this decision that it would not change its formula the dealings with Hamas.

Q: What are the latest violations against Islamic sanctities by the Zionists in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other places?

A: The Zionists desecrate sanctities in Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque in a non-stop course, and there are issues that must be taken in account at the level of the Arab and Islamic elites: the acts of right-wing Zionist extremism in Netanyahu’s government, and then the government of his extremist right-wing successor, Naftali Bennett.

 These extremist groups, such as “Women for the Temple” group, which calls for limiting Muslims entrance into Al-Aqsa Mosque, have an official presence in the Zionist government, as well as their lobbies in the Zionist Knesset.

A few days ago they had a meeting with the minister of Israeli religious affairs in an effort to take official measures to open the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque in front of the Jewish settlers so that they can enter it without any permission.

They want to open the doors of al-Aqsa Mosque for the settlers during the month of Ramadan so that they can celebrate the Hebrew Passover, which takes place in the third week of Ramadan, and they want that to be done officially.

In the past, I mean, in the mid-1900s, the Israeli government was trying to prevent settlers under the pretext that this is a mosque that has nothing to do with Judaism, but today the situation has changed and they want to officially violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Zionist soldiers and their laws. This is the biggest problem. For example, “Women for the Temple” group wants to completely close the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims on Jewish holidays.

The other issue is that these groups want to violate the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the ministers in the government of the Zionist regime welcome and promote such decisions. They want to change the demography of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque by increasing the number of Jews in the city and the neighborhood of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

During the first week of November, the Education Committee of the Israeli Knesset issued a decision obligating Hebrew students to enter Al-Aqsa. Imagine they want to compel their religious Hebrew students to participate in these incursions.

The official, political and military welcome for such steps indicates the right-wing extremism adopted by this government, which does not want the British government to see such measures and moves.

The Muslims and Christians of Jerusalem live under the Zionist threat through the annexation of spaces, the Judaization of the Islamic places, and changing some places, whether Christian or Islamic, into Jewish identity.

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