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Israel army considers taking over security in East Jerusalem al-Quds

A Palestinian protester shouts at Israeli forces during a protest in Arab-dominated occupied region of East Jerusalem al-Quds on December 30, 2017 against the US. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli military is reportedly considering a plan to take over from police the control of the situation at a Palestinian refugee camp and an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem al-Quds amid ongoing tensions there over a controversial US policy shift on the occupied city.

Citing unnamed sources, Haaretz said the Israeli ministry for military affairs has confirmed the army is studying the plan to assume responsibility for the situation in the Shuafat refugee camp and the Kafr Aqab district in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Those areas are in the jurisdiction of Jerusalem al-Quds, but are cut off from the rest of the occupied city by Israel’s Apartheid Wall, which has been under construction since 2002.

The International community designates Israel’s administrative control over East Jerusalem al-Quds as occupation since the regime invaded the area during the 1967 Arab War and then annexed it.

Clashes have intensified in the area since last month, when US President Donald Trump ignored a consensus about the fate of the city, which many say should be decided in talks with Palestinians, and declared that Washington was recognizing the entire Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”

Report say there has been almost daily clashes between Israeli forces and the Palestinian protesters, especially the youths from the Shuafat refugee camp and the district of Kafr Aqeb. That has prompted the Israeli army intervene and control the situation in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem al-Quds, according to Haaretz.

Israeli authorities have indicated that if the army takes control, the municipality of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds may no longer have a jurisdiction, and local councils will take over.

Some 150,000 people, most of them Arabs, live in Shuafat and in Kafr Aqeb and all have ID cards and residency status.

The East Jerusalem al-Quds is home to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in the Muslim world and a focus of decades of Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation.

US embassy relocation accelerates

Meanwhile, new reports suggest the Trump administration is moving faster than expected to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to a facility in West Jerusalem al-Quds that has been providing visa and other consular services.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted last month that the move would not happen until the end of Trump’s term.

The fresh reports, however, said the US State Department is working on a plan to retrofit an existing US diplomatic facility in Arnona in instead of constructing a completely new embassy in the Jerusalem al-Quds as proposed last month by Tillerson.

The top US diplomat had said the construction would take at least three years to complete.

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