RAMALLAH, March 9 (JMCC) - Scuffles broke out and tensions were high in Sheikh Jarrah
Tuesday morning as Jerusalem
's deputy mayor toured the site of a new municipal complaints office to be opened here.
Palestinians called the move provocative. Fateh
leader in Jerusalem Hatem Abdel Qader
vowed to move his own office to Sheikh Jarrah from al-Ram
where it is currently located on the West Bank
side of the Wall
Israel has built in Jerusalem.
The mostly-Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah has been the site of protests and clashes since two families were ordered to leave their homes after a court determined that the houses were Jewish-owned.
“I’m going to Sheikh Jarrah first of all, to strengthen the Jewish residents there,” Deputy Mayor David Hadari told the Jerusalem Post
. “I want to see if there is any way I can help them.
“Furthermore, I think that it’s extremely important for Jews to be able to live in every single part of Jerusalem,” he added.
Palestinians typically boycott city elections and are not represented in the Jerusalem city government. The municipality does not serve their interests but those of the city's Jewish majority, they say.
Israel has constructed a Wall through much of the eastern half of Jerusalem, severing the city's suburbs from its heart and the rest of the occupied West Bank.
Many Palestinian institutions are located on the eastern side of the series of barbed-wire fences, cement walls, patrol roads and crossing points, making them difficult for Palestinian Jerusalem residents to access.