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Sunday, February 1, 1998
"MOST PALESTINIAN BUILDINGS IN METROPOLITAN JERUSALEM ARE ILLEGAL."

"MOST PALESTINIAN BUILDINGS IN METROPOLITAN JERUSALEM ARE ILLEGAL."
(Commentary by Nadav Shragai, Ha'aretz, 1.2.98, p.A6 -
Translated from Hebrew by the Israel Government Press Office)

In a report on Palestinian Authority activities in
metropolitan Jerusalem, [which the security forces have
recently submitted to the prime minister,] considerable
space is devoted to, "Palestinian efforts to expand land
holdings in the region and prevent their additional
erosion by Israel." The authors note, inter alia, that
"some 60,000 Palestinians, who possess Israeli identity
cards, live in the Jerusalem environs, outside the city's
municipal boundaries. The most prominent
concentration is in the A-Ram area."

The report similarly claims: "Most of the buildings in the
Jerusalem environs have been built illegally." The
buildings in area C, it states, did not receive permission
from Israel, and construction in area B has not received
permission from the Palestinian Authority.

The report details various procedures which the
Palestinians use in the greater Jerusalem area:

* Blurring the municipal boundary. According to the
report, "In some areas, the Jerusalem municipal
boundary has become blurred, and a
neighborhood/village continuum exists between the
municipal area and its economic region."

* Declaring the metropolitan region as "development
region A." According to the report, Palestinian
Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, instructed his
ministries, "to regard the Jerusalem environs, including
37 Palestinian villages and settlements, as a preferential
region." In 1996, over $700,000 worth of projects were
implemented in several villages, several roads were
paved and 200 dunams of land were authorized for
agricultural use."

* Foiling real estate deals. According to the report, the
Palestinian Authority is attempting -- and sometimes
succeeding -- in foiling real estate deals between Arabs
and Jews. For example, a deal worth $12 million in the
Jebel Mukhabar area and the sale of 600 dunams of land
to a Jewish body in the Sawahara area (between A-Tur
and Jebel Mukhabar).

* The transfer of Palestinian Authority offices. "Dozens
of Palestinian Authority offices have been established in
the Jerusalem environs, and there is an intention to
establish more offices in the region," says the report. In
the local authority building in Abu Dis, there are -- inter
alia -- command posts and bases of the Palestinian
security apparatus, including the Maskal -- under the
command of Al-Khader Ta'amri, the General Intelligence
Service -- under the command of Col. Talal Duwikhat,
and the Presidential Guard (Force 17). "An office of the
General Intelligence Service also operates in Azaria. An
office of the Maskal and the Palestinian blue-uniformed
police was established in Bidu, and posts of the
Palestinian security forces have been established in A-
Ram and Anata."

* Encouraging private construction. "The Palestinian
Authority encourages private construction in the area of
the Jerusalem environs, especially along existing and
planned roads," says the report.

* Paving agricultural roads. In the framework of
implementing projects in areas Israel plans to
expropriate, "agricultural roads are being built in the
Jerusalem environs (including area C), including roads
between villages."

* Extending juridical authority. The Palestinian
Authority is extending the jurisdiction of the municipal
councils in the metropolitan area.

In addition, the report states that following Israeli
demands, the Ministry of Youth and Sport was
transferred from Orient House in Jerusalem to Dehiyyat
al-Barid in A-Ram. However, it states, "Except for the
branch's location, there has been no real change in its
activities. The activities of clubs and events are those of
a 'governmental' organization of the Palestinian
Authority, which is operating in Jerusalem contrary to
agreements.

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