Palestinians Fume Over Fatah Official’s Comment that Western Wall Must Remain Israeli

Jewish worshippers attend the annual Cohanim prayer (priest's blessing) during the Sukkot holiday, or the feast of the Tabernacles, at the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. Thousands of Jews gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem for a holiday blessing, a day after …

TEL AVIV — Jibril Rajoub, a member of Fatah’s central committee, has put himself on the receiving end of anger from the Palestinian street after telling Israel’s Channel 2 that the Western Wall “will remain under Israeli sovereignty. There’s no argument that this is a holy site for Jews.”

Palestinian organizations, as well as individuals on the street and on social media, criticized Rajoub’s comments and said that the remarks represent a national surrender of the so-called historic rights of the Palestinian people.

The Hamas terrorist group released a special statement that Rajoub’s comments were a “national crime that conceals within it harm to the Palestinian people and their holy places.” Hamas’ statement also said that the comments were “a clear message to the occupation of preparedness to officially give up on a holy, national and historic fundamental, all in the hope of receiving crumbs in return.”

The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization said in a statement that Rajoub’s comments “prepare the ground for recognizing that Jerusalem is Jewish. For the Oslo camp, everything is up for negotiation.”

The “Mujahedeen” and “Alahrar” movements also sharply criticized the comments. Rajoub himself tried to deny that he’d made the comments, but those on social media were quick to publish the video with his comments to Channel 2.

Palestinian social media users and those from around the Arab world went after Rajoub. A senior journalist for Al Jazeera, Khadijea Benguenna, wrote on Twitter, “Our small brains are no longer capable of accepting what’s happening. Rajoub recognizes the sovereignty of the occupation over the Western Wall (Albouraq as it’s called in Arabic). Is this not a concession in preparation for the recognition of a Jewish state?”

Jordanian-Palestinian commentator Yasser Zaatreh wrote, “Jibril Rajoub gave the Western Wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque up to the Zionists in a television interview. Afterward, he was free to curse those who attacked him and claimed that they attributed comments to him that he didn’t make.”

Saudi journalist Abdullah Almolhem wrote, “Jibril Rajoub spoke as if in the name of one-and-a-half billion Muslims, informing the Hebrew Channel 2 that the Western Wall needs to remain under Jewish sovereignty because of its holiness for them.”

Dr. Salah Alnaami from the Gaza Strip wrote, “Is it possible that after UNESCO determined that the Western Wall belongs to the Palestinians, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, comes along and claims that the Western Wall belongs to the Jews?”

Gazan journalist Mohamed Almadhoun wrote, “Our Palestinian nation will stand up to the advocates of normalization that give concessions to the Zionist occupier. Rajoub is an outcast on a national level, he and his boss Abbas!”

Twitter user Salamahmad, also from the Gaza Strip, wrote, “Balfour and Rajoub are two sides of the same coin. The difference between them is that Balfour gave and Rajoub sold.”


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