US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital has set off an increasingly visible battle between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the city’s eastern sector.
Observers have warned that Trump’s decision has already emboldened Israel to cement its control over the contested area which the Palestinians view as the capital of their future state.
They also say the move could give Israel an extended hand to devoid the ancient city of its Palestinian characteristics.
“The change in the US position on Jerusalem [al-Quds] under Trump’s administration has unleashed the Israeli hands to increase and escalate its measures that aim to change the features of the city from a Palestinian city to an Israeli one,” Walid Salem, a Palestinian analyst in Jerusalem al-Quds told AP.
“The Palestinian Authority feels the heat and is stepping up measures to resist this Israeli policy.”
Recently, the Israeli regime arrested dozens of Palestinian activists and demolished shops in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
It is also set to raze the Bedouin of Khan al-Ahmar near the occupied city and evict the Palestinians from Silwan neighborhood.
Additionally, the municipality of Jerusalem al-Quds plans to evict the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees and shift its services over to Israeli authorities, AP added.
In response, the Palestinian Authority has stepped up efforts to defend its right to Jerusalem al-Quds and prevent its judaization.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed the city in a move not recognized by the international community.
Israel lays claim to all of Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the city’s eastern sector as an occupied territory.
Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli “capital” last December and moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient city in May, sparking global condemnations.
The US officially opens its diplomatic mission in Jerusalem al-Quds amid a deadly Israeli crackdown on Palestinian protests.
President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Palestinians would no longer accept the US as a mediator to resolve the conflict because Washington was “completely biased” towards Tel Aviv.
“Around 300, 000 Palestinian live in East Jerusalem,” Palestine’s Minister of Jerusalem affairs Adnan Husseini said. “They have always resisted the Israeli occupation measures in the city and they always will.”
Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority detained property dealer Issam Akel, a US citizen, for violating a long-standing Palestinian ban on “selling land to a Jew.”
Separately, Israel arrested Palestinian al-Quds Governor Adnan Geith, along with over 30 activists, on suspicion of serving in the Palestinian security forces.