The Islamic-Christian Front for Defending Jerusalem and its Holy Sites, stated on Monday that Israel is using the current scandals Olmert is facing as a cover-up for its continued illegal attacks against the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Dr. Hasan Khater, secretary-general of the Front, stated that Israel started the construction of 1420 housing units for Israeli settlers in a number of illegal settlements around the city, including the settlements of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim), Pisgat Zeev, and Bitar Elit.

He added that the Israeli Housing Ministry is targeting what is left of the Palestinian lands in the city and around it in order to build Jewish-only settlements.

Dr. Khater also said that Israel is expected to escalate its illegal settlements activities in the coming period as fundamental groups that support and encourage settlement construction and expansion are using the current scandal crisis which Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is facing.

Dr. Khater slammed the silence and idleness of the International Community while Israel is annexing the Palestinian lands and committing ongoing violations against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and their holy Muslim and Christian sites.

“The peace process is based on the land for peace principle”, Khater stated, “But Israel is now attempting to force new realities and new grounds for the peace process as it rejects to hold talks on Jerusalem and is voiding the legitimate Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees”.

Moreover, Dr. Khater said that Israel is destroying the historic and religious Arab sites in Jerusalem and that the ongoing excavations are threatening the foundations of several buildings and sites especially the Al Aqsa Mosque as most of the excavations are carried under it.

Dr. Khater added that the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League, the Al Quds Committee and all related institutions, in addition to all Arab leaders, should act immediately in order to save the holy city from the ongoing Israeli violations “before it is too late”.