Wealthy Arab helps Hamas buy up Jerusalem property

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A wealthy Egyptian sheikh who resides in Qatar has given Hamas $21 million to buy up property on the eastern side of Jerusalem, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) director Yuval Diskin said at the weekly cabinet meeting this week.

Diskin said Hamas' rivals in Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority are also buying up property in Jerusalem and renewing official activity there.

Diskin believes the two parties will eventually work together from their respective power bases in Jerusalem to push Israel out of the eastern side of its capital.

Meanwhile, Abbas on Sunday accused Israel of trying to "Judaicize" all of Jerusalem after the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a green light to a new hotel project.

In a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Abbas went on to claim that Israel is trying to destroy the Islamic and Christian character of Jerusalem and turn it into a purely Jewish city. He falsely suggested that Israel imposes heavier taxes and building restrictions on Jerusalem's Arab residents in order to force them to leave.

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