Ma'an News Agency
February 16, 2011 - 1:00am

With global political attention on Egypt, a Fatah spokesman warned Wednesday, "Israel has been increasing settlement activity in East Jerusalem," and putting the future of the city at risk.

Recent decisions by Israeli forces, including the announcement of three new settlement construction projects and plans to move the police training college into the occupied eastern flank of the city, spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said in a statement, have officials concerned.

The transfer of police institutions and hundreds of new settler homes will "only go to further destabilize" the situation in the city, Al-Qawasmi said, and slammed a recent decision to allow Jewish settlers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for prayer.

During the same week, Israeli officials barred the family of a man slain by Israeli settlers in Jerusalem from taking his body to the holy site to perform religious rites. The family was told he would have to be buried in the West Bank.

Jerusalem officials said Israel feared the gathering of a critical mass in the city, and sought to prevent mourners from massing.

"Netanyahu's government wants to explode the status quo," Al-Qawasmi said.

"While the entire world is busy with Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain," Palestinians were being further pushed out of their city, he added.


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