The United States is funding a Palestinian Authority project to place non-Hebrew road signs throughout Judea and Samaria. The PA plans to implement it in exclusively Israeli-controlled areas as well.
The project is part of American aid “towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” as a top official of USAID (United States Agency for International Development) in the PA, Howard Sumka, told the Al-Hayat Arabic daily.
The project was announced by PA transportation minister Dr. Saadi Alkaranz. Correspondent Haggai Huberman reports that it is the first of its kind since Jordan lost control of the area when it attacked Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. All roads and localities will appear in Arabic and English on the new signs; Hebrew will not appear.
Several weeks ago, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced a decision to change road signs throughout Israel to reflect the Hebrew, and not Arabic, names of cities in Israel. He explained that the current situation, in which “the official road signs of the State of Israel have Jerusalem written not as 'Yerushalayim,' but as 'Al-Quds,' and Acco appears as 'Akka,' [could lead to] the ‘right of return’ slipping in at us via the back door.”
Minister Alkaranz said, “This project is included in the government’s plans to lay the foundations for the establishment of a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem.” He explained that the signs will not include the names of any Jewish locations in the region.
Alkaranz further said that the first stage of the project will be implemented in Area A (under full PA control) and Area B (under PA administrative control and Israeli security control). He said the PA will insist that it be executed in Area C – under full Israeli control – as well.