Israel is deliberately seeking to exterminate the remnants of Palestinian civil society in Occupied Jerusalem by blocking and refusing to fund the Palestinian institutions that have managed to survive this long. The crisis goes back to the creation of the Oslo Accords in August 1993, when the Palestinian side demanded an official administrative presence in occupied Jerusalem, but was refused permission by the Israeli government. Faced with a possible breakdown in talks, Israel’s then foreign minister Shimon Peres wrote a letter, pledging not to close existing Palestinian institutions and agreeing to fund them. In 1994, this letter was used by Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat to prove that Israel had pledged to discuss the future of occupied Jerusalem.

Today, Israel is misusing its powers over Palestinian institutions to further its campaign to end Palestinian presence in occupied Jerusalem. If the Palestinian National Authority cannot do much about this, it is wrong to do nothing. Other Arab states can help by sending money to occupied Jerusalem institutions, most of which have bank accounts in Amman and at other global centres and would receive money with gratitude. It is a gross perversion to allow Israel to get way with strangulating Palestinian life.