TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority will remunerate Palestinian university graduates who are prepared to live in the Jordan Valley, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Monday.
The Jerusalem Post cited Shtayyeh as saying at the start of the weekly PA cabinet meeting in Ramallah that his government will give grants to graduates living in the Jordan Valley area who are “working on production projects” with local residents.
He did not elaborate on what projects he was referring to or how substantial the grants would be.
The Jordan Valley is a narrow sliver of land that forms the border between Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Approximately 11,000 Jews and 60,000 Palestinians reside there, the latter of whom live largely in Jericho and surrounding villages.
Apart from the city of Jericho, which is in Area A and therefore under the PA’s security and administrative control, most of the land in the Jordan Valley is designated as Area C, which is under full Israeli control.
Shtayyeh’s remarks Monday follows an announcement he made earlier this month saying that the Palestinians will deal with all territories in the West Bank as if Ramallah is in full administrative and security control of them.
“Israel no longer respects any of the signed agreements and has started to deal with all places as if they are part of Area C. Therefore, we will deal with all places as if they are part of Area A,” Shtayyeh said.
According to his spokesman, Ramallah will start to issue building permits to Palestinians in Area C.
On Monday, Shtayyeh also said that the PA has begun preparing evidence to fight Israel’s decision to cut taxes owed to the PA over the PA’s so-called pay-for-slay scheme granting terrorists and their families a monthly stipend. PA officials have threatened to appeal in international forums against the deduction in payments.
Also at the meeting, Shtayyeh slammed Israel for police clashes at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem during the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha last week, claiming that Israel was trying to change the status quo at the holy site by allowing “settlers to repeatedly carry out assaults there.”
Riots broke out as Muslim worshipers tried to prevent Jewish pilgrims from arriving at the site — Judaism’s holiest — on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, which coincided with the Muslim festival. Some 37 Muslims were injured, at least one seriously, as well as four Israeli police officers.
The Palestinian government, Shtayyeh said, is coordinating with Jordan to resolve the matter. The Jordanian Waqf trust is in charge of administering the Temple Mount.
On Monday, Jordanian lawmakers recommended that the country expel Israel’s envoy in Amman and shutter the Israeli embassy to protest Israeli “violations” against the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The lawmakers also called for the Israel-Jordan peace treaty to be nullified and for the US ambassador to Jordan to be summoned over the Trump administration’s support for Israel.