Iran warns against Israel’s bid to erase al-Quds Islamic identity

Iran warns against Israel’s bid to erase al-Quds Islamic identity

Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:9PM

Iran warns against Israel’s bid to erase the Islamic identity of Jerusalem al-Quds, after Israeli lawmakers gave the initial approval to a bill that grants legal status to illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.

The first reading of the bill was passed in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) on Wednesday with 58 votes in favor and 50 against.

The measure, which would apply to an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 illegal Israeli settler units in the occupied West Bank, requires three more full parliamentary votes to become law.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Wednesday that the international community and Muslim countries needed to act against such measures, which he referred to as “provocative” and “against human rights” and which he said could endanger the Islamic identity of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

According to the legislation, Palestinian landowners would be offered compensation in exchange for the expropriation of their lands.

Meanwhile, the Israeli lawmakers are expected to approve another controversial bill aimed at limiting calls to prayer from Palestinian mosques.

On Saturday, the Israeli ministerial committee for legislation approved the bill before it goes to the Knesset, where it then must pass three rounds of voting before becoming law.

Palestinians have condemned the move as a blatant violation of freedom to worship, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Sunday that the bill enjoyed wide support among the Israelis.

“The call to prayer is one of the rituals of Islam and is an issue of significance to Muslims,” Qassemi said, adding that the proposed bill exposes Israel’s six-decade-long “anti-humane, racist and cruel policies against the oppressed Palestinian people.”

The Iranian official went on to say that such practices are only meant to “tighten the living conditions for the Palestinians in their ancestral homeland and change the Islamic identity of East Jerusalem al-Quds.”

Iran welcomes Yemen truce, dialogue

Also on Wednesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman reaffirmed his country’s support for the resumption of talks between Yemeni sides.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stressed a political solution to the Yemeni crisis through dialogue between Yemen’s political groups and avoiding a military approach,” Qassemi said.

He said that Iran welcomes a political agreement and a full ceasefire that would restore stability and peace to the Arab country and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni nation.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that both the Houthi Ansarullah movement and an alliance of militants loyal to Yemen’s resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur, had agreed to a cessation of hostilities starting on November 17.

A representative of Yemen’s former government, however, denied that forces loyal to Hadi had agreed to a ceasefire.

But Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has expressed its readiness to end fighting and join a national unity government in the conflict-ridden country suffering from a deadly Saudi aggression since March 2015.

“Ansarullah’s position has been and still is with stopping the war and the establishment of a national unity government that incorporates all political components,” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, member of Ansarullah’s Political Council, told Reuters on Wednesday.