TEL AVIV – The Palestinian leadership has condemned a Jewish women’s annual march marking the fast day of Tisha B’Av and the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a provocation aimed at “Judaizing” the capital, labeling it “a rebellion against international legitimacy.”
The PA Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement Monday slammed the Israeli rightwing Women in Green group, which has organized a march around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem for the past 24 years around Tisha B’Av. Several Israeli officials are expected to attend this year’s march, scheduled for Saturday night to coincide with the onset of the fast.
The ministry said the walk was a “Judaization night march” that is “an extension of the state of extremism that dominates the political arena in Israel and the settlers, since [President Donald] Trump’s ominous declaration on Jerusalem and the transfer of the embassy and the continuous Judaization of the Holy City and its separation from its Palestinian surroundings.”
The Ministry continued, “this prevents the creation of a viable Palestinian state … with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The Palestinians called on the international community to “act quickly to defend its remaining credibility and to implement its relevant UN resolutions and to take legal measures to force Israel to comply with international law, and the will of international peace.” They added that the “failure to hold Israel accountable for its aggressive and provocative practices encourages it to continue to commit further violations and crimes and to continue its violent isolation of occupied Jerusalem and its holy sites.”
In its response, Women in Green referred to the recent summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, which showed that these days Israel is viewed as “the third power” in the world.
“The world feels the spiritual power of the Land of Israel and Jerusalem,” Nadia Matar, co-founder of the Women in Green group, told Breitbart Jerusalem.
“Through Israel, the Arabs expose their true face as a nation of sword and destruction. They want to weaken us by preventing Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria,” she said, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name.
“Israel needs physical and spiritual strength to defend itself. Judea and Samaria are critical for this purpose. The US and Russia have grasped this and therefore every step toward sovereignty bothers the Arabs,” the co-founders added.
An earlier statement from the group noted that the walk had taken place for the past two and half decades and was aimed at restoring the ancient Jewish custom of walking around the walls of Jerusalem on the eve of the fast day.
The group thanked Trump for his December declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the subsequent transfer of his embassy there.
The march, she said, is aimed at “preventing [the] establishment of a terror state in the heart of the Land.”
The group addressed the international community, saying “the People of Israel is here because this is our Land and the capital of this Land is Jerusalem, toward which we have prayed for thousands of years.”
“Only under our Israeli sovereignty can all of the nations and religions pray in it and travel in it freely and safely. We also take this opportunity to tell the international community that we are here because of a divine commandment and a history of more than 3,000 years, as well as by right of international institutions which declared the right of the Jewish People to this Land, from the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Resolution, the resolution of the League of Nations,” the statement said.
Women in Green further asserted that since Trump’s election and the influx of Muslim immigration into Europe, the world no longer buys into “the Arab-Palestinian lie; the world has opened its eyes and can now distinguish between good and evil and there is increasing understanding that the aggressor no longer is the one who wins sympathy.”