The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Fadi al-Hadami on Saturday held an official tour of the neighborhood of Tsur Baher, an Arab area within Jerusalem’s municipal borders.
Al Hadami toured the area to keep close track of the municipality’s decision to demolish 16 buildings containing some 100 apartments that were built illegally and to study issues related to the security barrier passing in the area.
He was accompanied by local Fatah representatives as well as Sheikh Assem Amira, a leader of the extreme Tahrir movement who espouses Islamic State (ISIS) like ideas and whose house is slated for demolition.
An official visit by a PA minister inside Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries is yet another action taken by the PA to cement its presence in the city.
The PA has been operating to strengthen its presence in east Jerusalem in sophisticated ways, including the transfer of significant funding in favor of activities on its behalf, and Israel’s intelligence and police forces are constantly working to track and stop these attempts.
Al Hadami stated during his visit that the PA “will continue to defend Jerusalem and its presence in the city.”
The PA has recently intensified its activities in Tsur Baher, while the city hall has apparently given a Hamas-affiliated organization a permit to build a pool. TPS has learned that various programs and activities taking place in the area are sponsored and run by the PA, including a Hamas women’s club and a Fatah basketball team.
The PA’s actions in Jerusalem contravene Israeli laws meant to limit the PA’s presence in its capital.
Israel’s Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan is promoting legal action against elements working to help the PA advance its objective in Jerusalem, including those involved in financing or hosting PA events in Jerusalem.