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Stripping Jerusalem Residents of Their Palestinian Status Stirs Anger

Stripping Jerusalem Residents of Their Palestinian Status Stirs Anger

Friday, 13 March, 2020 - 14:00
Palestinian women shout slogans during a protest against the U.S. intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The Palestinian presidency rejected a report issued by the US State Department, in which it changed the definition of Palestinian citizens in occupied East Jerusalem to the status of Arab residents.

The leadership described the move as an attempt to falsify history.

“This report constitutes another failed attempt by the American administration to implement the so-called dead-century deal, which is rejected by Palestinians, Arabs, and the international community,” Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said.

He strongly denounced “tampering with the rules of international law and the decisions of international legitimacy, which have all affirmed that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967.”

“The US administration’s insistence on these desperate attempts will not bring peace, security, and stability to anyone, nor will it affect the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and their leadership, who are able to thwart this conspiracy,” Abu Rudeina continued.

The US State Department, in its annual report on human rights in the world, did not recognize as Palestinians, the Arab population of East Jerusalem, whose number exceeds 340 thousand. It described them instead as “Arab residents” and “non-Israelis”, instead of the term, “Palestinian residents,” previously used by the US.

The majority of Palestinians in Jerusalem hold a residency permit, but they do not have citizenship. Palestinian officials and factions condemned the recent US move.

In comments, the secretary of the PLO executive committee, Saeb Erekat, said: “We are Palestinians, Arabs, Christians, and Muslims. We are the sons and daughters of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is our capital and home. The name change from a Palestinian population to an Arab one is a desperate attempt to strip the name of the Palestinian people from Jerusalem.”

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