Israel unveils budget for ‘Israelization’ of East J’salem al-Quds

Tel Aviv has earmarked $560 million for the “Israelization” of the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

The Israeli cabinet voted Sunday to allot 2 billion shekels ($560 million) over five years “to strengthen Israeli sovereignty” in East Jerusalem al-Quds, which is populated by Palestinians, the daily Ha’aretz reported on Monday.

Much of the funding is intended to “encourage” Palestinian schools to use the Israeli curriculum, the newspaper said.

According to the report, more than half of the sum is to be spent on invigorating the so-called Israeli identity in the Old City, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque compound — Islam’s third holiest site — and its surroundings.

This includes reinforcing the Israeli business infrastructure, and continued revamping of the Jewish cemetery on the Jabal al-Zaytun (Mount of Olives), a mountain ridge on the edge of the Old City.

A transportation route is also to link up the eastern and western parts of the holy city, the report added.

Palestinian worshipers at the mosque’s compound are subject to strict Israeli restrictions, but Israeli settlers regularly make their way into the site under military escort.

On Sunday, more than 1,000 Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in an act of provocation on the eve of US relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

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