RAMALLAH, Thursday, November 21, 2019 (WAFA) – The Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat today refuted Israeli claims that the recent closure of Palestinian media offices in Jerusalem was in line with the 1993 agreement between the PLO and Israel.
Israeli police yesterday closed the offices of Palestine TV and the Education and Higher Education Directorate (EHED) in the occupied city of Jerusalem for six months, purportedly for organizing activities under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority within Jerusalem.
Police handed Palestine TV office director, Ayman Abu Rumoz besides to Palestine TV correspondent Christine Rinawi orders to appear before the Israeli intelligence.
Erekat republished the letter that was sent by the then Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to his Norwegian counterpart Johan Holst on 11 October 1993 and commented: “Little they know about this agreement. I am publishing it, so the Israeli can know the game of deceit their government practice on them.”
“Therefore, all the Palestinian institutions of East Jerusalem, including the economic, social, educational and cultural, and the holy Christian and Moslem places, are performing an essential task for the Palestinian population,” he said.
“Needless to say, we will not hamper their activity; on the contrary, the fulfillment of this important mission is to be encouraged,” he added.
Erekat also made reference to a statement regarding Jerusalem made by Peres to the Knesset on 9 September 1993 which was also sent to Holst on 11 October 1993.
In his statement before the Knesset, Peres stated that: “Israel recognizes the religious significance of Jerusalem to all the prophetic religions. It respects its unique value in the spiritual as well as in the daily lives of Jews, Moslems and Christians.”
He had pledged that “We have been and we shall remain strongly committed to the absolute freedom of worship and the continuing functioning of the religious and spiritual institutions in Jerusalem.”
He also pledged that the Israel “shall continue to respect the various aspects of religious life in the city and will seek to broaden our dialogue with the various religious institutions.”
“We will continue to refrain from any action which may infringe upon the freedom of worship and access to the holy sites, or which may hurt the feelings and sensitivities of the various religious groups and denominations. This applies to all those who reside in the city and those who make their pilgrimage to its shrines,” Peres went on to say.
“Jerusalem is a city of human, religious and cultural mosaics. Jews, Moslems and Christians live in the city, with each community preserving its cultural heritage, social patterns and institutions, as well as its educational systems. The harmonious coexistence in Jerusalem depends on the continued functioning of these systems, institutions and holy sites,” he concluded.