Arab sources report that consultations have recently begun which include the participation of public figures from eastern Jerusalem to establish an independent list, which will run for a seat on the Palestinian Legislative Council this May.
A source in eastern Jerusalem told TPS that the possibility of establishing an independent list that will also include heads of families from Jerusalem and Hebron, will take advantage of the momentum created by local leadership, which opposes the Palestinian Authority due to its failure in civil, social and political matters.
At the same time, the Beirut-based Al Quds International Institute, a body affiliated with extremist Islam and which was established in the wake of the second intifada, warned against what it called “the danger of the Emirates exploiting the elections in Jerusalem.”
The Al-Quds Institute claims that there are contacts to establish a list to be called “Jerusalem First,” which is backed by the United Arab Emirates. This list is being formulated and it intends to “push the Palestinian Authority to the margins and create a local political authority in the east of the city, in accordance with the Abraham Accords.”
The Al-Quds Institute states that Sari Nusseibeh is behind the initiative. He is one of the leaders of the eastern Jerusalem elite who has previously stated his acceptance of the two-state solution and Jerusalem being the capital of both peoples. Until December 2002 he was the representative of the PA in Jerusalem.
The Islamic Institute warned that Nusseibeh will work to normalize relations with the Israeli authorities and apply Israeli or Palestinian Authority sovereignty over the eastern neighborhoods, according to their demographic majority.
The Institution claims that Nusseibeh, who established the “Economic Development Council” in eastern Jerusalem with generous funding from the UAE, will try to bring about the establishment of civic institutions in eastern Jerusalem under the UAE while taking advantage of the economic distress.
The Institute stated that the rulers of the UAE have been exploiting the void and distress in eastern Jerusalem for years and are behind the purchase of land as well.
Nusseibeh will lead to the establishment of projects, including the “Silicon Wadi” project in the Wadi Jouz neighborhood, warned the Al-Quds Institute.
The Al-Quds Institute further warned that Nusseibeh is expected to include key figures from the elite families in eastern Jerusalem, including a member of the al-Husseini family, to create the impression that this is a national list with a record in the Palestinian Authority struggle, and therefore called on eastern Jerusalem leaders and all PA Arabs to unite against Nusseibeh’s list, and “in the face of the conspiracy and existential threat” posed by the Emirates, to boycott the “Jerusalem First” list and the Economic Development Council.
Public figures in the east of the city confirmed that there is an intention to establish an independent list that will be called “Jerusalem First,” but this will be an independent party that does not operate according to a political agenda and will include members from Hebron.
They added that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are concerned about the establishment of independent lists, especially in the east of the city and in Hebron, where clan leadership has been forming in recent years.