Israeli Public Security Ministers, Yitzchak Aharonovitch, issued a decision preventing Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, from entering Jerusalem to dedicate new Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem. Dr. Fayyad was planning to visit two Arab schools to celebrate their renovation, and also planned to start a new road project in Arab neighborhoods in the city.
The three projects were funded by the Palestinian Authority, while the Israeli government regarded this issue as a “violation of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem”.
Recently, Shmuel Klein, spokesperson of the “Israeli Legal Forum of the Land of Israel”, complained to Israel’s Public Security Minister and claimed the P.A.’s renovation of the schools in Jerusalem violates Israel’s laws.
But this is not the first time the Palestinian Authority has renovated schools in the occupied part of the city. Last year, the P.A. renovated 15 private schools in several Arab neighborhoods.
Yet, Aharonovitch justified his decision by stating that Palestinian Authority officials must apply for a permit to participate in what he called “political activities in Israeli territory”.
Last year, Israel arrested at least twenty Palestinians during the Palestinian Culture Festival celebrating Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded in clashes that took place after the police attacked festivities in the city.
The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state; the city was occupied by Israel along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 three-day war.
In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law dubbed “Jerusalem law” which declared Jerusalem “complete and united” as the capital of Israel. Although the law was passed by the Knesset, it never set the boundaries of the city.
The decision was rejected by the International Community, and the United Nations Security Council held a meeting a passed resolution number 478 which declared the Israeli decision as “null and void”.