Settlements block Jerusalem as capital of two-states: EU

Updated 28 February 2013
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Settlements block Jerusalem as capital of two-states: EU

JERUSALEM: Israel’s settlement construction in annexed east Jerusalem is part of a strategy aimed at preventing the Holy City from becoming the capital of two states, an internal EU report found on Wednesday.
In its Jerusalem Report 2012, a copy of which was seen by AFP, the European Union said Jewish settlement construction posed “the biggest single threat to the two-state solution.”
Describing Israel’s settlement construction in east Jerusalem as “systematic, deliberate and provocative” the report accused the Jewish state of making deliberate political choices that threatened to render the two-state solution impossible.
Relations between Israel and the EU have been particularly tense in recent months, with Europe voicing increasing discontent over a raft of Israeli plans to build more than 5,000 new settler homes in and around annexed east Jerusalem.
The standoff has sparked Israeli concerns the 27-member bloc, its largest import and export market, could move to implement a series of punitive trade sanctions.
Authored by EU heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the report flagged construction in three southern areas — Har Homa, Gilo and Givat HaMatos — as being the “most significant and problematic plans.”
“The construction of these three settlements is part of a political strategy aiming at making it impossible for Jerusalem to become the capital of two states,” it warned.
“If the current pace of settlement activity on Jerusalem’s southern flank persists, an effective buffer between east Jerusalem and Bethlehem may be in place by the end of 2013, thus making the realization of a viable two-state solution inordinately more difficult, if not impossible.”
In 2012, tenders were issued for 2,366 new units which was “more than twice” the total number issued over the preceding three years which stood at 1,145, the report said.
Most of them were for construction in Har Homa, thereby “significantly expanding the existing footprint of the settlement’s built-up area.”
Israel captured east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
It considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided” capital and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.
But the Palestinians want east Jerusalem for the capital of their promised state, and they — along with the international community — consider settlement construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank as a violation of international law.
“If the implementation of the current Israeli policy regarding the city continues, particularly settlement activity, the prospect of Jerusalem as a future capital of two states — Israel and Palestine — becomes practically unworkable,” the executive summary said.
“This threatens to make the two-state solution impossible.”
The report also flagged Israel’s decision to push forward with plans to build 3,426 units in E1 — a deeply sensitive area of the West Bank just east of the Holy City where experts say construction would isolate Arab east Jerusalem and cut the West Bank in two.
“The implementation of the E1 project, which threatens 2,300 Bedouin with forcible transfer, would effectively divide the West Bank into separate northern and southern parts,” it warned.
“It would prevent Palestinians in east Jerusalem from further urban development and cut off east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.”
The decision to halt or approve construction was a political choice which was illustrated by the “temporary dip” at the start of 2012 as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held informal talks in Amman, it said.
“Similarly, the surge in settlement activity in late 2012 was also a matter of political choice .. following the Palestinian upgrade at the United Nations,” the EU said, referring to Israel’s approval of more than 5,000 east Jerusalem settler homes in December.
The EU also flagged an increase in violent confrontations between Jews and Muslims at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The plaza houses the third holiest site in Islam, but is also revered by Jews as the site of two former Temples, with the report noting tensions had risen over the “sharp rise” in visits by radical political and religious Jewish groups, often in a “provocative” manner.
“With the peace process at an impasse and the region in transition, this increases exponentially the risk of a new crisis erupting over the site,” it warned.


Security alert as Qatari ex-minister linked to terror reappears in public

Updated 16 July 2018
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Security alert as Qatari ex-minister linked to terror reappears in public

  • Abdullah bin Khalid Al-Thani was photographed in Doha recently autographing a wall portrait of Qatar ruler
  • The Anti-Terror Quartet — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – placed Abdullah Al-Thani on a list of 59 terrorists being sheltered by Qatar

JEDDAH: The re-emergence in public of a former Qatari interior minister linked to financing and promoting terrorism has rung alarm bells in the security community.

Abdullah bin Khalid Al-Thani was photographed in Doha recently autographing a wall portrait of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The Anti-Terror Quartet — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt  — placed Abdullah Al-Thani on a list of 59 terrorists being sheltered by Qatar. He has been accused of financing several terror operations and of accommodating terrorists, including those involved in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks, at his farmhouse in Qatar.

Al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of those attacks, moved to Qatar “at the suggestion of Abdullah Al-Thani,” according to the US Department of Defense.

In 1995, Abdullah Al-Thani is believed to have provided funding to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to support him in combat in the Bosnian war. While the US pushed for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest, Abdullah Al-Thani told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed about the growing pressure for his detention, leading to him leaving the country with a Qatar-provided passport on a government executive jet. When he returned, Abdullah Al-Thani was briefly confined to house arrest.

“This man is a big supporter of terrorism and of Al-Qaeda and there is no doubt that he enjoys the patronage of the Qatari regime. His re-appearance confirms all our worst fears that Qatar is a hotbed of terrorists and anti-Arab plotters,” said Saudi scholar and international affairs expert Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri.

“We had no problem with the United States. We were great allies. But Qatar wanted to drive a wedge between our good ties and so, in league with Iran, they supported and facilitated Al-Qaeda's 9/11 operation.”

Al-Shehri said it was not a coincidence that 15 Saudis were selected by Al-Qaeda, Iran and Qatar for the 9/11 operation. “Their primary purpose was to finish our relationship with the United States. With time and painstaking work by other countries it soon became obvious who was pulling the strings of those terrorists, and why.”

"I think it's the right time to put all international pressure on the Qatari regime," said Salman Al-Ansari, head of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC).

Abdullah Al-Thani was among the key links, Al-Shehri said. “When Doha realized it was being exposed it sent Abdullah Al-Thani out of the public eye. But it now seems emboldened enough to bring him back into the public glare. This proves once again that Qatar is the biggest promoter and supporter of terrorism, and that the Arabs, led by Saudi Arabia, have been absolutely justified in snapping ties with Qatar.”

After Saudi Arabia and three other states severed relations with Qatar in June 2017, Al-Qaeda operatives and ideologues came out instantly in support of Qatar. Egyptian Mohammed Shawqi Islambouli, a US-designated terrorist, described Qatar as “the pride of the Arabs.” Abdalrahman bin Omeir Al-Nuaymi, who the US sanctioned in December 2013 for “providing financial support to Al-Qaeda, Asbat Al-Ansar, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Al-Shabaab,” was also among those who rallied in support of Qatar.

On June 4, Al-Nuaymi posted on Twitter: “The latest developments in our region have proven that a state that sows destruction (Saudi Arabia) is inciting the West to sanction states (Qatar) and individuals.”

Al-Nuaymi is a Qatar University professor and former president of the Qatar Football Association. He was also a founding member of a prominent charity — the Sheikh Eid bin Mohammad Al-Thani Charitable Foundation, named after a member of the country’s ruling family. The Telegraph newspaper described him as “one of the world’s most prolific terrorist financiers.”

Among the list of 59 individuals and 12 organizations that the ATQ blamed for supporting terror are several who are also sanctioned by international organizations, including the UN. 

Sa’d bin Sa’d Muhammad Shariyan Al-Ka’bi, a Qatari national openly living in Qatar, was designated by the UN in 2015 as a known facilitator and fundraiser for the Nusra Front. Al-Ka’bi’s activities in Qatar, including the arranging of funding and transferring funds are well known and documented, yet the Qatari government has done nothing to stop his actions.

Abd Al-Latif bin Abdallah Salih Mohammed Al-Kawari is a known fundraiser for terrorist groups dating back to the early 2000s. At that time Al-Kawari was associated with Ibrahim Isa Haji Mohammed Al-Bakr, himself a designated terrorist by the UN and US. The two were working in Qatar to raise funds for Al-Qaeda organizations based in Pakistan and Al- Kawari was directly connected to the transfer of funds from Qatar to Pakistan. Al-Kawari has also been associated with fundraising and the transfer of funders to the Al-Qaeda offshoot, the Nusra Front.

One of the major demands made of Qatar by the Anti-Terror Quartet was: “Full withdrawal of all support, shelter and funding for terror and extremist organizations of all kinds.”