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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

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An investigation by this reporter has found that sections of Jerusalem have essentially been forfeited to the Palestinian Authority with Jews, including local landowners, barred from entering,

The U.S. has been aiding Palestinians in developing an infrastructure in Jerusalem while the Israeli government has failed to stop Arabs from illegally building thousands of housing projects on Jerusalem land purchased and owned by a U.S. Jewish group for the express purpose of Jewish settlement. The result: Arabs now comprise the majority in many Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The situation has been unfolding in the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis, which are close to the Jewish neighborhoods of Neve Yaacov and Pisgat Zeev in Israel’s capital.

A tour of the three Jerusalem neighborhoods in question found some surprising developments. Official PA logos and placards abound, including one glaring red street sign at the entrance to the neighborhoods warning Israelis to keep out.

Some local schools in the Jerusalem neighborhoods are officially run by the PA – some in conjunction with the UN – with many teachers drawing PA salaries. Civil disputes are usually settled not in Israeli courts but in Palestinian ones run by the PA, although Israeli courts are still used on occasion, depending on the matter.

Israeli security officials said the local Jerusalem police rarely operate in Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis, which are separated from other Jerusalem areas by Israel’s security fence; instead, security has been turned over to members of the IDF and Border Police, who work almost daily with PA security forces. Shmulik Ben Ruby, spokesman for the Jerusalem police, confirmed the arrangement.

“If there are fights between some local families, sometimes we involve the PA police to make peace between the families,” he told this column. “Yes, the PA police can operate in these neighborhoods in coordination with the IDF and Border Police.”

Recently, Israeli Jews, including local property owners, have been almost entirely barred from entering the three neighborhoods, while Israeli Arabs can freely enter.

Ben Ruby said the new arrangement is due to security concerns. “It’s quite dangerous to be there alone, so if they don’t have to be there it’s not allowed, because they might find themselves in danger if they go in,” he said.

U.S. Closely Monitoring
Jerusalem Construction

President Obama’s administration is carefully monitoring Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and has already protested to the highest levels of Israeli government about housing expansion in those areas, according to informed Israeli officials speaking to WorldNetDaily.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that in recent weeks Obama’s Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, oversaw the establishment of an apparatus based in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that closely monitors eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, conducting daily tours of the area.

Said one Israeli official: “If the U.S. notices even one bulldozer on the region of E1, they immediately call us on the level of [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and ask Olmert what that bulldozer is doing there and whether we are planning anything in Jerusalem.”

The official was referring to the Jewish neighborhood of Maale Adumim, located in eastern Jerusalem. Olmert’s government had previously approved the expansion of the community, but new construction has now largely been halted.

Intended Or Not, U.S. Aid
May Fall Into Hamas’s Hands

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced this week that a $900 million U.S. aid package for the Palestinians was meant to foster regional peace and would not fall into the hands of the Hamas terrorist organization. A third of the money is designated for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

But the aid is slated to be received both by the PA and the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, or UNWRA, which administers aid to millions of Palestinian “refugees” in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. UNWRA openly employs Hamas members, while the PA is talking with Hamas about establishing a unity government.

Israeli security officials warned that since Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, any reconstruction efforts in the territory are likely to bolster Hamas, whether the Islamist group directly receives the funds or not. They also said the PA has previously used donor funds to pay the salaries of Hamas officials and the terrorist group’s police force in Gaza, which includes scores of terrorists among its ranks.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

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About the Author: Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m (CHANGE TO 7-9 p.m.). His website is KleinOnline.com


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