Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Mrs. Rula Maa’yaa condemned the Israeli government’s approval of an Israeli tourist route in the West Bank (a pedestrian route and a tourist route in the West Bank) in an attempt to impose a de facto policy on the West Bank.
In an interview with PNN, the minister said that these Israeli measures in trying to take over the tourism in the Palestine, exploiting Palestinian land and sites in order to develop their tourism in the occupation state, in addition to accompanying these delegations by Israeli tour guides are working to change the real narrative of these Palestinian sites and mislead the tourist by manipulating reality.
The Minister stressed that this Israeli policy comes after the great success achieved by the Palestinian tourism by obtaining the first place as the highest tourist destination in the world during the first half of this year, according to statistics of the World Tourism Organization. Also after Palestinian adopted a variety of tourist patterns such as the walking trials, which has become a source of attraction and a key factor in increasing the number of traditional tourist delegations coming to Palestine, thus forming an important part of the tourist activities that Palestine shows in front of the world.
The tourist patterns adopted by Palestine contributed to the emphasis that the Palestinian cities, tourist sites, archaeological and historical sites are open to receive tourists from all over the world. It also led to giving a true and realistic image of Palestine and the nature of its hospitable people. It works on conveying a beautiful and wonderful picture about the reality of the Palestinian people and the reality of the cities and tourist sites that Palestine is singing, and it contributes to elevating Palestine and all Palestinian tourism facilities.
The Palestinian position came one day after the Israeli government approved its weekly session on Sunday to change the pedestrian route, a tourist route that focuses on history, nature and the environment in the West Bank, for the first time since its occupation in 1976. This is another violation of international law that is added to the series of Israeli violations.
The Israeli government approved the proposal by the Israeli tourism minister to include areas in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as part of Israel’s national tourism route.
An Israeli newspaper, reported that the current route does not pass through the West Bank, but Israeli Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin approved the change of the rout to go through the West Bank from its north to its south, while the government has so far refrained from changing the route for fear of international criticism.
Israel’s Channel 7 said the decision was a landmark decision that would change the route known as the Israel Trail, which would pass through the Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the West Bank from north to south, something that has not happened in 22 years.
Israeli Right-wing parties have repeatedly criticized Israel’s failure to include Jerusalem and the West Bank, which they claim include Jewish historical and religious sites.