Question: What scenario can Ma’ale Adumim residents expect following a UN recognition of Palestinian statehood?
Answer: No one knows for sure, which means security officials are preparing for everything.
The Israeli police force, along with the IDF are on full alert in preparation for this week’s expected UN vote on Palestinian statehood. According to Major General Nissim Mor, commander of the police’s operations unit, “Jerusalem and Um El Fahm are the areas where we think unruliness are most expected. Israel’s police force has gained a lot of experience in coordinated operations with the army, and we will support each other when and where it is needed.”
The nearby Arab village of Azaria has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with Ma’ale Adumim since the early 1980’s. Local Arabs shop in Ma’ale Adumim stores, especially in Tzemach Hasadeh and at the mall. Two generations of its residents have received steady income as construction workers. That income was severely reduced last year when the Israeli government instituted the buiding freeze on construction of new homes in Jewish communities in Yesha, an irony not lost on Azaria’s residents.
Firm and forceful Jewish retaliation for Azaria-based violence during the 1991 intifada has led to two decades of relative quiet, despite repeated efforts by Hamas to gain a foothold in the village. No one knows how the PA’s UN bid for statehood will affect the relationship between Azaria and Ma’ale Adumim. Despite PA Chairman Abu Mazan’s pledge that intifada-type violence will not return, security officials are taking no chances. The worst case scenario, in their eyes, would be a thousand-person march on our municipal borders.
Whatever happens, Minister of Energy Uzi Landau said on a recent visit to Ma’ale Adumim, “all of us are in the same boat. Din Ma’ale Adumim k’din Haifa and Tel Aviv.” Translation: What goes for Haifa and Tel Aviv goes for Ma’ale Adumim, too.