Jerusalem Violations Reviewed in Lecture Series

A series of lectures recently organized by the Birzeit University Deanship of Student Affairs addressed the question of Jerusalem.

Head of Christian World Section and member of the Christian-Islamic Committee in support of Jerusalem and the Holy Places Fr. Manuel Musallam spoke at the first lecture, which explored violations against the holy sites in Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is the beating heart of the Holy Land and the cornerstone of the Palestinian identity,” he said, “but its holy sites and history are under Israeli attack. There is hardly a week that passes without news emerging of a fresh offense against an ancient mosque or church.”

Fr. Musallam said that these actions violate rights enshrined in international law. “It is our duty to draw the local and international community’s attention to these assaults. Educational and documented lectures are a first step.”

Department of Architectural Engineering professor Jamal Amro described the Israeli’s 2020 master plan, the first comprehensive plan for the city and the dangers it poses for Palestinians.

“Israeli occupation authorities are using this plan as a political and legal tool for the displacement of Palestinians from Jerusalem. Discrimination characterizes every aspect of the Master Plan, which limits the amount of land available for Palestinian construction, reduces the density of construction within these lands, and denies building permits to Palestinian Jerusalemites and consequently restricts their presence in Jerusalem,” Amro stated.

The lecture also included a constructive dialogue facilitated by Political Science Professor Abdel Rahman Haj Ibrahim and was followed by an exhibition presenting pictures of Jerusalem and its holy sites.