The Palestinian Authority has reportedly earmarked some $20 million to support East Jerusalem Palestinians in the wake of mass protests over Israeli security measures around the Temple Mount compound.
According to Channel 2, the 500 “guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” will each receive a $1,000 stipend from the PA.
Some $15 million will go toward upkeep and repairs on homes in East Jerusalem, and all small business owners in the Old City will receive a grant of $1,000 over the next three months.
The funds will also pay for university studies, pay off municipal debts, help private businesses and subsidize electricity for residents of the Old City, the report said.
The TV report came after two weeks of sharp tensions with Israel amid Palestinian protests over security measures at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
Israel installed new security measures at the compound after a fatal terror attack on July 14, in which three Arab Israeli gunmen killed two Israeli police officers with weapons they smuggled on to the site. Last week, amid fierce pressure from the Palestinians, Israel removed the metal detectors and cameras around the holy site.
Also last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he had suspended security coordination with Israel to protest the metal detector installations.
The security cooperation between Israel and the PA, in place for years despite near-frozen diplomatic ties, is seen as critical for both Israel and Abbas’s Fatah faction to keep a lid on violence in the West Bank, particularly from the Hamas terror group.
On Saturday, The Times of Israel learned that the PA has continued to make arrests of Hamas members in the West Bank, despite the freeze in cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces.
The security cooperation will be restored gradually, a Palestinian official said.
Avi Issacharoff contributed to this report.