The Israeli military is examining the possibility of assuming responsibility for repression in the Shuafat refugee camp and in Kafr Aqab, Palestinian areas that, according to Israeli law, are in the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Jerusalem but which have been physically cut off from the city since the construction of the separation barrier.
Sources in the defense establishment have confirmed to Haaretz that the army’s Central Command and the headquarters of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories are reviewing the matter. The army’s exact duties in Shuafat and Kafr Aqab, whose inhabitants carry Israeli identity cards and have residency status in Israel, have still not been determined. Also to be worked out is the division of responsibilities between the army and the police. The Israel Police currently operate in these areas.
Haaretz has learned that the Israel military is looking into the possibility that the Samaria Brigade, which is responsible for the Nablus area, will assume responsibility for additional areas further south, and the Binyamin Brigade, which is in charge of the Ramallah area, will assume control over Shuafat and Kafr Aqab.
“Netanyahu’s settler government is continuing to take extreme steps aimed at preventing any possibility of a future peace plan, along with causing critical damage to the daily life of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem,” says Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, the Chairman of the Joint List. “This is a move designed to uproot 100,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem and to shatter East Jerusalem into small entities comprised of separate villages and neighborhoods.”
Odeh believes that, in addition to the political implications of such a move, it will hurt the Palestinian residents of the areas being considered for militarization who in any case are living in dire poverty and with unacceptable infrastructure, and for whom East Jerusalem is the center of their lives. Obviously, after such a move their situation will worsen, families will be torn apart and tens of thousands of residents will be cut off from their sources of livelihood.