- PA, Aided by EU, Working to Change Demographics of Jerusalem Area – Hillel Frisch
The PA, with the help of the EU, has succeeded in housing 120,000 Palestinians in recent years in a 9-sq.-km. area mostly within the official boundaries of Jerusalem. Umm Ishak al-Kaluti told Palestinian media that ten years ago she owned one of the few homes on this once barren hill, now the site of hundreds of six-to-ten-storey apartment buildings. All of this construction is illegal, a senior officer in the Border Police in charge of security in the area confirmed.
This officer and Jamil Sanduqa, head of the makeshift local council of Ras Khamis, would both agree ťthat these neighborhoods are a human disaster. The only road that traverses this urban nightmare is two lanes wide. Fire trucks find it impossible to reach the scene in the event of emergencies. Garbage burns in the open. The writer is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. (BESA Center-Bar-Ilan University)