PA police directed traffic in northern Jerusalem neighborhoods three times this past month – in violation of Israeli law and the Oslo Accords. A World Net Daily (WND) report documents other violations of Jerusalem’s sovereignty by the Palestinian Authority, indicating to some that the division of Jerusalem has already begun.
WND’s Aaron Klein reports that at least three witnesses said they saw PA police directing traffic during one or more of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s visits to Beit Hanina this month. Beit Hanina is a neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, under exclusive Israeli sovereignty, populated almost totally by Arabs. On each of his visits, Abbas’s convoy passed through neighboring French Hill, an almost entirely Jewish neighborhood.
One man driving through French Hill last week while Abbas' convoy passed told WND he was stopped by uniformed PA police, who asked him to wait until the motorcade passed. Two others said they witnessed uniformed PA police direct traffic in Beit Hanina earlier this month during Abbas' two previous visits there.
Israeli law and the Oslo Accords state that the PA is not allowed to operate in Jerusalem.
Shmulik Ben-Ruby, spokesman for the Jerusalem Police, strongly denied any knowledge of the above report. "We don't know anything about it," he said. "The PA police are not allowed to operate in eastern Jerusalem."
Despite the above, Ben-Ruby admitted that there are occasions when the PA police do operate in Jerusalem: "If there are fights between some local families,” he told WND, “sometimes we involve the PA police to make peace between the families. Yes, the PA police can operate in these neighborhoods in coordination with the IDF and Border Police."
Klein lists several other indications that Israel is forfeiting parts of Jerusalem to the PA:
- Jews, including local landowners and their representatives, are barred from entering parts of Jerusalem such as Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis in northern Jerusalem.
- The Israeli government has failed to stop Arabs from illegally building thousands of housing projects on Jerusalem land owned by the Jewish National Fund in the above areas. An American Jewish group purchased much of the land for the express purpose of Jewish settlement.
- The United States, via USAID, has been aiding the Palestinian Authority in developing infrastructures in Jerusalem, as evidenced by road signs placed by the PA.
- Some local schools in the Jerusalem neighborhoods are officially run by the PA, sometimes in conjunction with the U.N., and many teachers draw PA salaries.
- Civil disputes in Arab-populated neighborhoods of the capital are often settled not in Israeli courts, but by the PA judicial system.
- Councils governed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah organization oversee some municipal matters.