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Israel: Jerusalem residents react to US policy shift on Israeli settlements

4 19.11.2019 Инфо

W/S People walking in Old City
SOT, Hazem el-Helou, Palestinian resident (Arabic): "The decision is possibly connected to what is currently happening in the occupation [Israeli] government, namely the struggle to form a government which failed until this moment. This decision is aimed at serving Netanyahu, as it [the announcement] could be marketed as another achievement [by Netanyahu] to the Israeli community which may help him put pressure on Israeli parties not to make a coalition with Gantz and to push for a coalition with Likud and Netanyahu."
M/S People walking in Old City
W/S People walking near Church of Holy Sepulchre
SOT, Yechiya Pomerance, resident: "I think it is a great shift. I think it was supposed to [happen] before but it is very exciting to hear about it and everyone is welcome to Israel now - everywhere in Israel. Not only Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Every part of Israel is open to the world."
W/S People walking in Old City
SOT, Yechiya Pomerance, Resident: "For now I don't think [there] would be any change, but in a few years we will see more settlements, more tourists in these places."
W/S People walking in Old City
SOT, Ibrahim abu Shaar, Palestinian resident (Arabic): "The American decision is first of all a violation of all international conventions and treaties. What happened yesterday goes against all the international resolutions on the occupation of Palestinian lands and it's an attempt to legitimise the settlements, which is rejected by the whole world including the European Union. It is an absolute support to the occupation and an absolute support to the settlements' expansion at the expense of the rights of the Palestinian people."
W/S People walking in Old City *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Pinhas Goldberg, Resident (Hebrew): "I think that it is a very beautiful thing. You can say that the people that are not Jewish can also recognise that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel in its entirety and it is a very nice thing. It shows that the Messiah will come very soon. It means that the Messiah is really on his way and the world is ready for this that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. I think we have known for thousands of years but the world is starting to recognise it. I hope that it will start in America and with all the rest of the non-Jews."
W/S People walking in Old City
SOT, Nedal al-Burai, Palestinian resident (Arabic): "The reality is very saddening. The West Bank is on its way to being lost forever and will be annexed by Israel. Maybe this plot is part of the deal of the century to end the Palestinian existence in the West Bank, therefore the Itifada [the uprising of Palestinian people] could be imminent."
W/S People walking in Old City
SCRIPT
Residents of Jerusalem reacted on Tuesday to the US government announcement that it would no longer consider West Bank settlements illegal.
Locals sharing their opinions were divided between those who were excited about the shift and its potential impact on tourism in Israel and those who saw it as a violation of Palestinian rights.
"I think it is a great shift. I think it was supposed to [happen] before but it is very exciting to hear about it," said Yechiya Pomerance, a resident of Jerusalem. "Everyone is welcome to Israel now - everywhere in Israel. Not only Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Every part of Israel is open to the world."
Others, including Hazem el-Helou, another Jerusalem resident, drew connections between the US policy shift and the ongoing power struggle in the Israeli government.
"The decision is possibly connected to what is currently happening in the occupation [Israeli] government, namely the struggle to form a government," he said. "This decision is aimed at serving Netanyahu, as it [the announcement] could be marketed as another achievement [by Netanyahu] to the Israeli community."
Nedal al-Burai, another Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, said, "The reality is very saddening. The West Bank is on its way to being lost forever and will be annexed by Israel."
Some saw the change in religious terms, believing Jesus Christ will return when Jews have control of Jerusalem.
"The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel in all its entirety and it is a very nice thing. It shows that the Messiah will come very soon," said Pinhas Goldberg.