The new national unity government does not include a Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs.As the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem has put the city into a different category from other parts of occupied Palestine, it is often marginalized. But popular opinion has it that the Palestinian government in its new form is treating Jerusalem in much the same way as the Israelis: that it is being overtaken by Israel and there is nothing that can stop this.
The city has suffered neglect for the past five years, and adding insult to injury is the lack of a ministry. The lack of a clear Palestinian strategy for Jerusalem is due to a lack of resources to take on the escalation of Israel's grip on the city, say local officials.
The Israeli authorities have increased demolitions, arrests, settlements, and the imposition of the Wall.
Although Prime Minister Haniya said that he would form a special committee to deal with the affairs of the city and monitor them with an exclusive budget, it is not enough says attorney and former official, Jihad Abu Zneid. “The problem is not for a Ministry of Minister to be the only responsible party. It is the responsibility of the presidency, the government and the Palestine Liberation Organization. They must increase their attention to the city of Jerusalem.”
Abu Zneid noted that civil institutions in Jerusalem are asking for re-activation of the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and the development of a clear strategy to face the threat to the city.
One of its citizens said, “After the announcement of the names of the ministers yesterday, when I did not hear the name of the Minister of the City of Jerusalem, I felt, and so did the rest of my friends, disappointed and marginalized and resentful. We are lost in this moment.”