The Arab League agreed Thursday to raise $500 million in order to fight Jewish growth in Jerusalem. The money will be given to the Palestinian Authority, which says it will use it on behalf of PA Arabs living in the Israeli capital.
Both the PA and Syria had submitted a request for aid prior to an Arab League summit scheduled for the weekend. Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa agreed that funds should be allocated in order to stop Jewish “settlement activity” - a reference to Israeli construction in parts of the historically Jewish city that were controlled by Jordan from 1948 to 1967.
The PA claimed that Israel is attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem.
Arab and Muslim nations insist that the PA be granted a state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza with Jerusalem as its capital. Saudi Arabia created a fund in 2001 aimed at strengthening Arab life in the city, and the Islamic Conference Organization has called on Israel to avoid all measures aimed at “making Jerusalem a Jewish city” or “intensifying Jewish settlement.” In this vein, The PA attempts to discredit Jewish historical claims to Jerusalem and to destroy archaeological finds on the Temple Mount.
The PA has been granted billions of dollars in aid over the past two years, primarily from the United States and Europe. Much of the money has gone to cover the salaries given the 160,000 public servants on the PA payroll, including Fatah loyalists in Gaza who lost their jobs following the Hamas takeover in 2007.