JERUSALEM Palestinians and several organizations have condemned the inauguration of a highly contentious tunnel built by the Israeli regime at an archaeological site in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds and the attendance of American officials at the event.
On Sunday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and President Donald Trumps Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt along with Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Israeli Prime Minister, wielded sledgehammers to break open the so-called Path of Pilgrims, which lies underneath the Palestinian Silwan neighborhood.
Were there any doubts about the accuracy, the wisdom, the propriety of President Trump recognizing Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the capital of Israel, I certainly think this lays all doubts to rest, he said.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the colonialist plans to replace the existing reality in occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the environs of the Old City.
It also denounced the presence of American officials at the ceremony as a hostile act against the Palestinians.
The administration of President Donald Trump proves day by day its … unlimited affiliation to the colonial settlement project led by the extremist right in the state of the occupation, it added.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) also slammed the US officials participation in the event, saying Friedman and Greenblatt were not American diplomats, they were extremist fanatic Israeli settlers.
PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said the pair had hurled insults at international law by blessing a project of settlers that has dispossessed dozens of Palestinian families nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
He further called on all Arab and Muslim leaders to condemn in strongest terms the provocations of Greenblatt and Friedman and the threats their actions pose to the Palestinians and the Al-Aqsa Mosque
The tunnel, he added, is a settlement project based on a lie that has nothing to do with history. Israelis say the now-subterranean path served as a pilgrimage route to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount, some 2,000 years ago.
In addition, the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement in a statement Tuesday described Friedmans participation in the ceremony as aggressive behavior that violates all diplomatic norms and puts the international laws at risk.
This criminal act reflects the US position, which totally supports the Israeli occupation, it added.
The resistance group also held those who joined a recent US-sponsored Bahrain conference responsible for Washingtons disdain for Jerusalem (al-Quds) and its holy sites.
The workshop, meant to promote a deal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was held in Manama on June 25-26 despite a Palestinian boycott.
Arab League, Al-Azhar join Palestinians
Moreover, the Arab League condemned Israels opening of the so-called Road of Pilgrims as a flagrant violation of international law.
Saeed Abu Ali, Arab Leagues assistant secretary general for Palestine and occupied Arab lands, said the participation of American officials in the inauguration of the tunnel proves the Trump administrations absolute bias and full adoption of these settlement projects in violation of international consensus and legitimacy.
He also warned of the serious consequences of continued Israeli excavations in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Similarly, Egypts Al-Azhar, which is the foremost religious institution for Sunni Muslims, criticized Israels attempts to alter the identity of Jerusalem al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In a statement, Al-Azhar urged all countries to adopt decisive positions in order to stop Israels repeated disregard for the rights of the Palestinian people, their land and holy sites.
It further reiterated its firm opposition to any measures that would infringe the rights of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.