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Qrei'a fears intifada if Israeli policy persists

March 15, 2010 7:25 P.M. (Updated: April 7, 2010 3:16 P.M.)
Jerusalem – Ma'an – PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Qrei'a said Monday that if Israeli practices in East Jerusalem continues , a third uprising would ensue.

"If matters remain at this level, regardless of whether we take the decision or not, it [an intifada] is coming. If Israel continues these practices, it is coming," he told reporters during a news conference in his Abu Diss office in East Jerusalem.

An intifada, or uprising, he said, "is not a matter of official decision, but rather it arises from the culmination of oppression, injustice, aggression and tyranny. It is something the people decide. This is what happened with the two previous intifadas."

Qrei'a, who also heads the Jerusalem affairs department in the PLO, said successive Israeli governments have attempted to change the city's demographic nature, threatening Arab Muslim and Christian identity. Israeli policy is aimed at severing Jerusalem from negotiations and fully annexing the city to Israel, he added.

A synagogue's rededication ceremony on Tuesday, 300 meters away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, is a "dangerous program" intent on "Judaizing" Jerusalem and falsify history, he said.

Moreover, Qrei'a spoke of unprecedented aggression and provocation faced by Palestinians, citing a recent leaflet distributed by right-wing Jewish groups calling on non-Jews to leave Jerusalem, as well as rumors of an Israeli take over of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday.

"Jerusalem is exposed to an unprecedented danger which targets its land, people, holy sites, heritage and history," Qrei'a said, adding that determining the fate of the city is paramount, without which a comprehensive solution cannot be attained.

Revealing a 1882 map of Jerusalem showing intended Israeli settlements, the PLO official said it proved the considerable risk faced by Palestinians in the city.

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