The Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Foreign States Meddle in Jerusalem

February 8, 2019 | David Koren

Not only does the Palestinian Authority (PA) operate in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem in ways forbidden by the Oslo Accords, but Hamas, Islamic State (IS), various other Islamist organizations, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the EU all have a presence there. Their activities, writes David Koren, undermine Israeli sovereignty and sometimes encourage violence and unrest. Although the PA does not pose the same immediate danger as the IS cells operating in Jerusalem—which, incidentally, have mostly threatened Arab Christians—it might be the most pernicious force in the city:

The PA exerts extremely heavy pressure on parents registering their children for Israeli matriculation programs [which would qualify them to attend Israeli colleges], seeking to persuade parents to cancel the registration of their children for this program and leave them in the Palestinian matriculation program. The PA and Fatah agents thereby prevent parents and their children from freely deciding on their educational and professional future. . . .

[Moreover], the violent and aggressive discourse instigated by the PA and its agents in eastern Jerusalem against anyone cooperating with the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli authorities is extreme and unreasonable. Even leaders in the Arab neighborhoods who are in no way “pro-Zionist” are verbally and physically attacked by PA agents for intervening with the Israel authorities in order to improve the residents’ lives. These neighborhood leaders are subjected to social and public blackballing. Such threats and intimidation have included the burning of two Jerusalem municipality community centers in eastern Jerusalem by Fatah members. . . .

As a rule, the PA takes aggressive and violent action to prevent Jerusalemite Arabs from behaving as residents with equal rights and duties. The PA wants to keep them from exercising those rights with Israeli authorities. It seeks to prevent healthy interaction with the Israeli government and its institutions and with Israeli society in general. There is no doubt that the PA ceaselessly undermines the foundations of Jerusalem’s unity and works toward de-facto division of the city by strengthening the Arab residents’ attachment to Ramallah instead of Jerusalem.

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