Rightists furious over Palestinian plans for new East Jerusalem schools
Palestinian premier Fayyad to rededicate schools renovated with PA funding.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel yesterday asked Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to prevent a planned visit next week to East Jerusalem by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, to rededicate two schools.
The organization's website says it is "committed to protecting human rights in Israel, ensuring sound government, and preserving the national integrity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people."
Right-wing activists were said to be infuriated by a report in yesterday's Haaretz, according to which the Palestinian Authority is close to completing renovations, which it funded, of 15 East Jerusalem private schools.
Most of the schools are in relatively centrally located neighborhoods, such as Sheikh Jarrah and Wadi Joz. The two whose rededications Fayyad is to preside over are in Dahiyat al-Salam and in Dahiyat al-Barid. While these are more remote, they are nevertheless still within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries.
In a letter sent on behalf of the forum to Aharonovitch, police commissioner David Cohen and Jerusalem District police commander Aharon Franco, attorney Adrian Aggasi said the planned visit by Fayyad was "an attempt to demonstrate Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem in a manner that contravenes the law."
According to the letter, the visit also contravenes agreements between Israel and the PA. "It seems that there is no activity of a more governmental nature than the inauguration of a school by the PA prime minister within the capital of Israel," he wrote.
Aggasi called on Aharonovitch to prohibit the ceremony and said the forum would petition the High Court of Justice if its demand was not met.
This is not the first time the PA has undertaken governmental activity in Jerusalem. About two weeks ago the PA funded NIS 1.2 million in road repairs in Dahiyat al-Salam.
Residents of East Jerusalem say that PA security officials intervene from time to time in conflicts in that part of the city.
"This is a continuation of PA involvement in East Jerusalem," Jerusalem council member Elisha Peleg (Likud ) said yesterday. "I view it very gravely, but point an accusing finger at the government of Israel."
Senior municipal officials said they were unaware of a planned visit by Fayyad and that the municipality opposed activity by the PA in Jerusalem.
"Responsibility for dealing with the matter rests with the Prime Minister's Office and relevant bodies, as with every foreign entity that is not Israeli and has no standing in Jerusalem," a municipal official said.