Security personnel in East Jerusalem (Olivier Fitoussi)
Security personnel at the scene of the incident in East Jerusalem last year. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
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Intelligence figures in the Jerusalem District Police and the Shin Bet security service are increasingly concerned about the growing involvement of Palestinian security authorities in East Jerusalem. Recent intelligence reports suggested that militant Palestinians may be trying to prevent the operation of community centers so that young Palestinians will roam the streets and disturb the peace. In another incident, the Palestinian security forces reportedly arrested a man in connection to a dispute between neighbors.

Information obtained by Haaretz indicates that in the past year Israeli intelligence agencies repeatedly warned that Israel's "blind eye" policy send a message of weakness to the Palestinians that could undermine Israeli sovereignty. The intelligence findings were recently presented to the highest ranks of the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces.

They reported the involvement of Palestinian security forces in schools in A-Tur, including the personal appointment by the head of the Palestinian Authority's Preventive Security Service of the members of a parents' committee at one of the schools, who terrorize anyone who opposes them.

Neighborhood activists reportedly threatened a landlord who sought to lease a building to the municipality, for use as a community center, while a school principal was ordered not to allow the city to open a community center on the premises.

According to another report, last July members of the preventive security forces arrested an East Jerusalem man who was involved in a dispute over a parking space with a neighbor. The neighbor appealed to the Palestinian Authority after being disappointed by the response of the local police station to his complaint. The arrested man was detained for four hours before being released.

In another incident, a Fatah activist in Silwan warned residents to register complaints with the PA and not the Israel Police.

The intelligence reports also refer to efforts by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to solidify his grasp on East Jerusalem. Fayyad allegedly paid a city planner from Anata 4,000 Jordanian dinars to draw up a master plan for the neighborhood. Each resident was asked to contribute NIS 100 for the plan, and Fayyad promised to allocate $345,000 for infrastructure and school construction in the neighborhood. The allocation has not been made.

Intelligence reports say the PA's main contact person in East Jerusalem is Palestinian Legislative Council member for the Shoafat refugee camp, Jihad Abu Zneid. Two siblings living in the United States send her money to fund her activities, which include paying attorneys' fees for young Palestinians who created a public disturbance in Shoafat last year.