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The Internal Palestinian Fight for Jerusalem, by Pinhas Inbari (JCPA)

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Apr. 14, 2016

  • East Jerusalem, despite being linked with both Israel and the West Bank, has developed an independent political system. The public activity in east Jerusalem occurs at the plaza of the mosques on the Temple Mount where the Islamic movements are the dynamic political forces.
  • The Islamic force that can muster impressive rallies under its flag and symbols is an international movement known as the Islamic Liberation Party, or Hizb ut-Tahrir, which to a large extent is the most significant actor on the Mount.
  • Also influencing the political system in the eastern part of the city is the involvement of regional powers, particularly Jordan and Turkey, a backer of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
  • Saudi Arabia has no interest in promoting its status in Jerusalem; the Wahabi kingdom regards the city as a competitor of Mecca. Abbas often complains that the Arab League did not honor its promise to funnel $400 million into east Jerusalem. There is good reason to believe that the Saudi kingdom torpedoed the decision.
  • Turkish institutions are directly involved in Jerusalem’s affairs, particularly one called TIKA, that is directly identified with the president of Turkey. This association’s website makes clear that it works in all territories of the Ottoman Empire to rehabilitate the old Ottoman heritage.

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