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A life devoted to Peace among People and,
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Newspaper La Republica
Montevideo, Uruguay Republic – Thursday, July 3, 1997

Jerusalem must be a capital city shared by Palestine and Israel (ver)

“It is not a religious conflict; Palestine is military occupied by Israel”, the Palestinian Ambassador said.

The presence of City Mayor Mariano Arana at the inauguration act of Plaza Jerusalem (Jerusalem Square) –organised by the Embassy of Israel in May- was yesterday labelled as “an abuse of the local authorities’ generosity on behalf of Israelis” by the Palestine Ambassador Suhail Hani Daher Akel

Those who organised the inauguration put all Uruguay in an awkward position with regard to the Arab-Islamic countries -its allies in the third world- and they put in a tight spot to those people who considered that the square would honour the Holy City”, Daher Akel said.

The diplomatic representative from the Palestine National Authority carried out a two-day visit to Montevideo and he had interviews with the director of the Africa, Asia and Oceania sector at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, ambassador Jose Luis Bruno; with City Mayor Arana and with Monsignor Luis Del Castillo, an auxiliary bishop in Montevideo; and with many other political personalities.

Before Akel’s visit, there was an unusual diplomatic incident with the Arab-Islamic countries which complained about the inauguration of a square in honour of Jerusalem by Israel. Israel pretends to turn it into its capital city in spite of the fact that Jerusalem continues being hard-fought by Palestinians.

In Jerusalem, Abraham walked, the Palestinian Jesus Christ preached and died and prophet Mahoma rose to heaven”, Daher stated. With this explication, Akel wanted to prove the fact that Jerusalem is the Holy City of the three major monotheist religions in the world. “It can never be the exclusive capital city of Israel “.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry reassured peace goodwill

The Palestinian representative said that “one time more” the Uruguayan Foreign Affairs Ministry informed his State about its stance “in favour of the peace process” with Israel by means of its ambassador Bruno. “I have not come to pulverise the Plaza Jerusalem (Jerusalem Square), I have come to find a solution which united Christians, Jews and Muslims in regard to the City of Peace”, the ambassador stated. Akel explained that Jebusites, an Arab Semite Canaanite tribe from the Palestinian genealogy, founded Jerusalem in 3,500 b.C. “A State of Israel never existed”, he stated.

Jerusalem was named City of Salem in honour of a peace Canaanite divinity. When Abraham arrived in Jerusalem sent by God to the ‘Promised Land’, he gave the tithe to the supreme Melquisedec priest, who he shared bread and wine with. This means that even at that time Jerusalem was the Canaanite capital city and it was run by Palestinians”, he added.

Del Castillo agrees

Monsignor Luis Del Castillo, who also received the Palestinian ambassador, told Akel that “Jerusalem belongs to the three monotheist religions and it is the capital city of two States”.

I invited monsignor to pray together at the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus and at the Dome of the Rock Mosque, as well as, I invited him to visit the Wailing Wall and later to drink coffee in the house of my family in Ancient Jerusalem”, he stated after saying that the recent inauguration of the Plaza Jerusalem (Jerusalem Square) in Montevideo “produced dissatisfaction among the Christian Catholic sectors in Uruguay”.

Akel said that he was in favour of the fact that Jerusalem becomes the capital city of Israel and Palestine, as well as, the patrimony of three religions.

However, he clarified: “the present violence is not a religious conflict; Palestine is military occupied by Israel”. “Del Castillo’s words reaffirm my own words”, he added.

The Israeli version and Arana’s commitment

Akel’s ambassador status was criticised by the Embassy of Israel by means of a fax sent to La Republica. The fax –which is signed by the chargé d’ affaires of the Israeli Embassy- states that Palestine cannot possess representations, according to point 5 in the IX chapter of the Oslo Agreement II.

I have not come to answer maltreatment or verbosity and groundless violence. We are not an Israeli province. They have no right to discuss our hierarchies or our existence as a State. Israel should only fulfil UN resolutions of 1967, 1993, 1994 and 1995. They urge Israel to withdraw from the military Occupied territories and to stop its Judaizing and settlement policy”, Akel answered.

As far as he is concerned, Arana committed to find “a fair solution” for the Arab countries which claimed about the inauguration of the square and for the Israeli State which organised the inauguration of the square at the Rambla Naciones Unidas (United Nations Promenade), between Convencion and Wilson Ferreira Aldunate.

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