By Palestine Monitor – 17 March 2010
Dr Barghouthi delivered this message during a press conference held yesterday in front Damascus gate. His speech emphasised the importance of solidarity with Palestinians in the Holy City, who have been affected by the closures and restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities.
“Nothing, not the Israeli Army, nor Israeli power can stop us, the Palestinians from reaching our capital Jerusalem. We came here in solidarity with the Jerusalemites. We are with them and will never leave them. The road to peace starts from Jerusalem, and ends in Jerusalem.”
“What Netanyahu and the Israeli government are doing by imposing a siege on the old city, imposing restrictions on access to the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and even preventing people from praying is totally unacceptable under the international law. His policies reflect the fact that he is acting as a Prime Minister of settlers.”
“We came here to protest and lead our non-violent protest against occupation and settlements in the same spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Although Palestinians from the West bank are denied to enter their capital, I decided to enter East Jerusalem without a permit, the capital of any future Palestinian State.”
Dr. Barghouthi was born in Jerusalem and worked for 15 years as a doctor in the Holy City.
He went on to explain that the negotiation process with such a government has become futile. He instead advocated a national strategy to combine popular resistance and support for national steadfastness, while mobilising the movements of international and national solidarity.
MP Mustafa Barghouthi said the actions of Israeli Occupation Forces today in Jerusalem and the attacks against Palestinian citizens which resulted in many injuries, typifies the aggression they are suffering. He went on to accuse the Netanyahu government of implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem through settlement expansion, house demolitions, and the confiscation of residency cards of Palestinian Jerusalemites.
Dr. Barghouthi toured the Old City of Jerusalem, meeting with citizens affected by the continuous harassment they suffer as a result of racist Israeli policies. Occupation forces attempted to prevent Dr. Barghouthi from entering the Al Aqsa compound, but eventually, supported by several dozen residents of the Old City, he was allowed to pass.
He concluded his visit by attending to wounded Palestinians whose injuries were sustained during the clashes in Jerusalem.
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