When Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa are in question, we need to watch carefully Israel's every move. For example, like contemplating over what the removal of Muslim and Christian religious and historical sites from the new map of Jerusalem printed by the occupation administration signifies.
Not only Muslims but Christians are also required to watch carefully the strategic interventions aimed at ruining the texture of the ancient city. The future of Jerusalem, its status, every intervention targeting it concerns the Christian world as much as it does Muslims.
Considering the future of Jerusalem under Zionist colonial occupation in terms of the members of the three religions, two major headlines stand out. The first is Jerusalem's status and the other is the protection of holy sites under occupation and the local population's ability to continue its existence.
Whether the international status given to Jerusalem prior to occupation is a realistic solution or a just form of administration is a different matter. However, the Zionist occupation disregarding the status given to Jerusalem and openly taking on the UN and international community is, before anything else, a political threat. In this respect, the Israeli occupation is also a confrontation to the global community under the UN.
The Zionist occupation and its results must be approached without falling into the trap of the strategy that degrades the actual state to an Arab-Israeli conflict.
By declaring Jerusalem its “eternal capital,” Israel not only betrays the city's ancient legacy, it is also destroying the balance and harmony formed under the wings of Islamic civilization. The secular international community remaining silent as if in support of Israel's religious fundamentalist strategy, while it dismisses Muslims' religious demands and protection of their historical legacies as religious fundamentalism, is a contradiction of the world system.
The Zionist regime is changing the city's texture by destroying as much of the Muslim heritage as possible by the day to make the occupation permanent and is following a strategy that will keep the state of occupation out of discussion. Even demanding that the UN decisions alone be applied has sufficient legal basis to end the Zionist occupation.
As they follow the strategy of fortifying the actual position by keeping Jerusalem's position out of discussion, the occupants are putting into action a plan prepared with fine details aimed at changing the current situation in their favor.
Step by step, it is putting into action the plans aimed at changing East Jerusalem and especially the identity, demographic, religious and historical legacy of the Old City (walled area).
According to news in the Israeli press yesterday, Muslim and Christian religious and historic sites have been excluded from the newly printed map of Jerusalem. This cannot be considered as an ordinary attempt at touristic deception. It is part of a strategy that progresses in certain stages and is aimed at destroying every element from the city's image to its human texture.
Israel's strategy targeting historic Jerusalem is continued in the form of violation aimed at the demographic and religious historical heritage.
Among the practices targeting Jerusalem's demographic, cancelling the Jerusalemite IDs of Palestinians – who still make up the vast majority – at every opportunity, taking away their rights to reside there, is the method they most frequently resort to. Since it cannot risk deporting them en masse for the whole world to see, thousands of Palestinians are unable to enter Jerusalem based on bureaucratic excuses and hence lose their right of habitation.
While Palestinians' public buildings and cultural assets in the Old City have been seized by Israel, multi-dimensional pressures are in process to also take their private properties one by one.
Palestinians being forced to sell the homes they are insisting on keeping at high prices through the funds set up in the US is one of these. The strategy that will change Jerusalem's Arab and Muslim demographic, one house at a time, is continuing rapidly.
The greatest target of the strategy to change and seize the historical and religious legacy is Masjid al-Aqsa. The Zionist colonialism trying to prove its legends by degrading the structures within the courtyard of al-Aqsa, one of Islam's holy sites, to an archaeological finding, does not even hesitate from openly attacking Islam's sanctuaries. Daily unauthorized actions such as going into and out of al-Aqsa, digging a tunnel under it, physical attacks are increasing in variety.
Al-Aqsa, also known as Qibla Masjid, which is not included in the latest map, being specially disregarded is part of a dangerous attempt. Taking into consideration the ignorance in Turkey that confuses Qubbat as-Sakhra (Dome of Rock) with al-Aqsa, the situation becomes even more critical. The reason Dome of Rock's golden domed image is particularly brought to the fore cannot be comprehended without knowing important details such as what this means in terms of the history of Judaism. Nobody can claim that the physical violations and dreams of building a temple, which are passed off as the rampage of “fundamentalist Jews” has not yet turned into a political project.
While the Muslims' holy sites and historic heritage have been removed from the map, only five Christian historic sites were kept on the map. They tried to give the city a Jewish appearance with the buildings that were erected after the occupation. The map is now an official declaration of the Judaization strategy of Jerusalem.
While the city is being de-Muslimized and surrounded by gigantic building complexes where occupant Jews are settled, it is physically being detached and isolated from Palestinian territory via highways and, most importantly, by the wall of shame.