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Occupied Jerusalem next stop for Arab protestors, residents hope

Nasouh Nazzal writing in Gulf News

Ramallah: As the protests continue in Egypt close on the heels of the regime change effected by the Tunisians, there is hope in the air for residents of occupied Jerusalem who believe they will no longer be left to fend for themselves against the might of their Israeli oppressors.

“We are very optimistic about these promising developments in the region. With the people rising up, we could get more support, making the Israelis think twice from now on before any possible aggression against us,” said an official in occupied Jerusalem.

Fakhri Abu Diab, a political activist and member of the Silwan Defence Committee, told Gulf News the protest movements of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples has turned regional power equations upside down.

Abu Diab added the initial message that (occupied) Jerusalem residents were getting from the protestors in Egypt was extremely promising, leading them to believe the situation in their city would surely change.

“Fear will develop in Israel about public protests following the Tunisian and Egyptian examples. The Israelis would not be able to handle all (occupied) Jerusalem residents if they rose against the occupier . . . Once the Arab nations fix their internal affairs, their next issue and next stop will surely be Jerusalem,”

Zeyad Al Hamouri, who heads the occupied Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights, told Gulf News that what happened in Tunisia and Egypt was a first in the Arab World, which will have serious and far-reaching effects all over the globe.

“This is a revolution aimed at reviving Arab dignity and pride, whose symbol is Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque,” he said. “We have learnt the lesson that hope cannot be lost in the will and strength of nations. We have been totally ignored by our Arab brothers for such a long time, but we never realised that they had been suffering just the way we are. They have not given a helping hand to (occupied) Jerusalem residents because they were suppressed by their own regimes,” he said.

Mohammad Saqed, who heads the Jerusalem Media Centre told Gulf News that Jerusalem residents have received assurances from protesters in Egypt and Tunisia that their next issue to be raised would be occupied Jerusalem.

“If the people are free to make their choices, their fundamental issue will be supporting (occupied) Jerusalem and never leaving us all alone in our confrontation with the Israelis . . . The mere idea of Egyptians considering the liberation of Al Aqsa Mosque is a major hope for Jerusalem and a source of confusion for the Israelis."

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