Palestinian Authority security forces directed traffic several times this month in the eastern sections of Jerusalem, according to multiple witnesses speaking to this column. If verified, this would mark a major escalation in PA activities in Jerusalem.
Three times this month PA President Mahmoud Abbas quietly visited Beir Hanina, a largely Arab town in eastern Jerusalem. Each time, his convoy passed through French Hill, a northeastern Jerusalem community that is largely Jewish.
One local witness driving through French Hill last week while Abbas’s convoy passed said he was stopped by uniformed Palestinian police, who asked him to wait until the motorcade passed.
Two witnesses in Beit Hanina earlier this month also said they personally witnessed uniformed PA police directing traffic in that area for Abbas’s two previous visits. While Beit Hanina is largely Arab, it falls entirely within the Jerusalem municipal district, whose security is supposed to be provided by the Israeli police. According to Israeli law, the PA is not allowed to operate in Jerusalem.
Abbas’s office bureau refused to confirm or deny reports of PA directing traffic in any Jerusalem area. The bureau said only that the Israeli police were responsible for Abbas’s visit and that the police coordinated with PA security forces.
Shmulik Ben Ruby, a spokesman for the Jerusalem police, strongly denied any knowledge of the PA police operating in Jerusalem.
“We don’t know anything about it,” he told this column. “The PA police are not allowed to operate in east Jerusalem.”
However, this column previously reported that the PA police were operating for some civilian matters in peripheral eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, a fact later admitted to by Ben Ruby.
“If there are fights between some local families, sometimes we involve the PA police to make peace between the families,” Ben Ruby said. “Yes, the PA police can operate in these neighborhoods in coordination with the IDF and Border Police.”
Israeli security officials have also previously said that local Jerusalem police rarely operate in several Arab-majority eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, including Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis; instead security is turned over to the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police, who work almost daily with PA security forces.
Fatah-Al Qaeda Connection Brewing
The Palestinian Authority provided financial support and, in at least one case, an official salary to al Qaeda allies in the Gaza Strip, according to information obtained by WorldNetDaily.
Abdel-Latif Moussa, leader of a Palestinian Islamist splinter group allied with al Qaeda, has been on the official PA payroll for at least the last year. According to a PA official, Moussa, a trained doctor, receives a salary for his medical services. According to multiple sources in Gaza, however, Moussa has not practiced medicine for the past ten years.
Two weeks ago, Moussa’s group clashed with Hamas after Moussa declared the Gaza Strip an “emirate,” or under strict Islamic rule, in a sermon. Abbas and other PA leaders accused Hamas of committing a “massacre” against the al Qaeda-inspired group.
Meanwhile, Fatah websites have recently been granting al Qaeda-oriented groups a platform to espouse their ideology. In the past these sites, generally more secularly oriented, have shied away from promoting al Qaeda.
Hamas officials speaking to this column this week claimed they have information that Fatah strongman Mahmoud Dahlan has been funneling cash to various Gaza-based Islamist groups. The Hamas officials, including the group’s chief political advisor, Ahmed Yousef, said their group will release documentation this week showing the Dahlan connection.
PA Lecturer: Jerusalem, Western Wall
Not Historically Jewish
The Jews have no historical connection to Jerusalem or the Western Wall, declared a Palestinian Authority lecturer on official PA television.
“[The Jews have] no historical roots. This is political terminology to win the hearts and the support of the Zionists in Europe so they would emigrate and come to Palestine. Nothing more!” stated Shamekh Alawneh, a lecturer in modern history at Al-Quds Open University.
“The [Jews’] goal in giving the name ‘Wailing Wall’ to this [Western] Wall is political,” continued Alawneh, speaking on a PA television program called “Jerusalem – History and Culture.”
“The Jewish Zionists had no choice but to invent an excuse [about Jerusalem] to spread among the Zionists or the Jews in Europe to connect to something concrete from the past about Jerusalem. They made false claims and called the ‘Al-Burak Wall’ the ‘Wailing Wall,’ ” Alawneh said.
His remarks were translated from Arabic by Palestinian Media Watch.
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 “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”