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PA to Open Offices Illegally in Jerusalem

In violation of the Oslo Accords, the PA decides to openly relocate government ministries to eastern Jerusalem.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/5/2010, 4:11 PM / Last Update: 5/5/2010, 4:27 PM

The Palestinian Authority has decided to invest economic and other resources in various projects designed to Arabize Jerusalem. U.S. President Barack Obama did not respond that this would derail the "peace process."

The PA decision was made on Monday in a meeting between Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his ministerial-level government members in Ramallah.

The Fayyad government is authorized by the new decision to relocate government offices and important institutions to what mass media refer to as eastern Jerusalem but actually includes northern and southern areas of the capital as well. The stated goal is to implant the sense among Jerusalem Arabs that the address for their issues is the PA.

The decision is a violation of the Oslo Accords, which prohibits the PA from operating in Jerusalem. The Orient House controversy, at the end of which Israel forcibly closed the eastern Jerusalem building and forbade it from being used for PA activity, was based on the clause in the Oslo II agreement stating that the PA's jurisdiction was restricted and did not include "issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis.”

The PA government also stated its intention of Arabizing the city, as well as "setting facts on the ground" that will have to be taken into consideration in all future negotiations with Israel. Special allocations will be made to schools, culture centers, health clinics and the like.

Hamas made a similar decision several weeks ago, allocating some $30 million towards various causes in eastern Jerusalem.