East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refers to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and then captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, and later annexed by them. It includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The term sometimes refers to the area which was incorporated into the municipality of Jerusalem after 1967, covering some 70 km2 (27 sq mi). Sometimes it refers to the smaller area of the pre-1967 Jordanian controlled part of the Jerusalem municipality, covering 6.4 km2 (2.5 sq mi).
In the Palestine Liberation Organization's Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988, Jerusalem is stated to be the capital of the State of Palestine. In 2000 the Palestinian Authority passed a law designating East Jerusalem as such, and in 2002 this law was ratified by Chairman Arafat, although Israel does not allow Palestinian government offices in East Jerusalem.
Israel declared in 1980 all of Jerusalem, both East and West sections, as its undivided capital, but this is not accepted by the international community.
- 1 Aftermath of 1948 war
- 2 Political term
- 3 History
- 4 Status
- 5 Urban planning
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Healthcare
- 8 Culture
- 9 Economy
- 10 Israelization of residents
- 11 Mayors
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Aftermath of 1948 war
Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided into two parts. The western portion, populated primarily by Jews, came under Israeli rule, while the eastern portion, populated mainly by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, came under Jordanian rule. Arabs living in such western Jerusalem neighbourhoods as Katamon or Malha either fled or were in some cases forced out; the same fate befell Jews in the eastern areas, including the Old City and Silwan. The only eastern area of the city that remained in Israeli hands throughout the 19 years of Jordanian rule was Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University is located, which formed an enclave during that period and therefore is not considered part of East Jerusalem.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the eastern part of Jerusalem came under Israeli occupation, along with the entire West Bank. Shortly after the Israeli takeover, East Jerusalem was annexed to West Jerusalem, together with several neighboring West Bank villages. In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed, calling for Israel to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" in exchange for peace treaties. In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel", thus formalizing Israel's unilateral annexation. This declaration was determined to be "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.
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the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
East Jerusalem is a term with heavy political implications. The term Arab Jerusalem is used by Arabs in official English language documents, emphasizing the Arabic speaking Palestinian population and distinguishing it from the Hebrew speaking parts of the city. Israelis call the Arab populated part of the city East Jerusalem because of its location in the eastern part of the single larger Jerusalem city unit.
The term East Jerusalem is ambiguous and may be used to refer to either of the following:
- From 1948 to 1967 it referred to the 6.4 km2 (2.5 sq mi) Jordanian ruled part of the city, mainly the predominantly Arab business district, the Old City and surrounding neighborhoods; counterpart of West Jerusalem, which referred to the Israeli part of the city.
- It may be applied to the area that Israel annexed and included in municipal Jerusalem following its capture by Israel from Jordan in 1967, which lies north, east and south of the former East Jerusalem. This area includes an additional approximate 64 km2 (25 sq mi) of the West Bank, including territory which previously included 28 villages and areas of the Bethlehem and Beit Jala municipalities under Jordanian rule.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the western part of Jerusalem was captured by Israel, while East Jerusalem (including the Old City) was captured by Jordan. The war came to an end with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements.
Upon its capture, the Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter. 58 synagogues were destroyed, and the Jewish Quarter was bulldozed. The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones there were used for construction and paving roads. Jordan also destroyed the Jewish villages of Atarot and Neve Yaakov just north of Jerusalem (their sites became Jerusalem neighborhoods after 1967).
East Jerusalem absorbed some of the refugees from West Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods that came under Israeli rule. Thousands of Arab refugees who were displaced from their homes in Israeli-held West Jerusalem were settled in the previously Jewish areas of East Jerusalem.
In 1950 East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank, was annexed by Jordan. However, the annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by the United Kingdom, although the Israeli and Jordanian annexations of the two parts of Jerusalem were given only de facto recognition. During the period of Jordanian rule, East Jerusalem lost much of its importance, as it was no longer a capital, and losing its link to the coast diminished its role as a commercial hub. It even saw a population decrease, with merchants and administrators moving to Amman. On the other hand, it maintained its religious importance, as well as its role as a regional center. Reaffirming a 1953 statement, Jordan in 1960 declared Jerusalem its second capital. The USA (and other powers) protested this plan, and stated it could not "recognize or associate itself in any way with actions which confer upon Jerusalem the attributes of a seat of government . . ."
During the 1960s Jerusalem saw economic improvement and its tourism industry developed significantly, and its holy sites attracted growing numbers of pilgrims, but Israelis of all religions were not allowed into East Jerusalem.
The Kendall Town Scheme was commissioned by the Jordanian government in 1966 to link East Jerusalem with the surrounding towns and villages, integrating them into a metropolitan area. This plan was not implemented, as East Jerusalem came under Israeli rule the following year.
During the Six-Day War of 1967 Israel captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and eventually incorporated Eastern Jerusalem and its surroundings into the municipality of Jerusalem, including several neighboring villages. This move, amounting to 111 km2 (43 sq mi)[dubious ] of West Bank territory, excluded many of East Jerusalem's suburbs and divided several villages.
Under Israeli rule, members of all religions are largely granted access to their holy sites, with the Muslim Waqf maintaining control of the Temple Mount and the Muslim holy sites there. The old Moroccan Quarter in front of the Western Wall was bulldozed three days after its capture, leading to the deaths of several residents in the forced resettlement of its 135 families. It was replaced with a large open air plaza. The Jewish Quarter, destroyed in 1948, was depopulated, rebuilt and resettled by Jews.
With the stated purpose of preventing infiltration during the Second Intifada, Israel decided to surround Jerusalem's eastern perimeter with a security barrier. The structure has separated East Jerusalem neighborhoods from the West Bank suburbs, all of which are under the jurisdiction of Israel and the IDF. The planned route of the separation barrier has raised much criticism, with the Israeli Supreme Court ruling that certain sections of the barrier (including East Jerusalem sections) must be re-routed.
The Oslo Accords, prohibit the establishment of any activity of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem. Under the pretext that they are part of the PA, Israel closed many Palestinian NGOs since 2001.
In the January 25, 2006 Palestinian Legislative Elections, 6,300 East Jerusalem Arabs were registered and permitted to vote locally. All other residents had to travel to West Bank polling stations. Hamas won four seats and Fatah two, even though Hamas was barred by Israel from campaigning in the city. Fewer than 6,000 residents were permitted to vote locally in the prior 1996 elections.
In March 2009, a confidential "EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem" was published, in which the Israeli government was accused of "actively pursuing the illegal annexation" of East Jerusalem. The report stated: "Israeli 'facts on the ground' - including new settlements, construction of the barrier, discriminatory housing policies, house demolitions, restrictive permit regime and continued closure of Palestinian institutions - increase Jewish Israeli presence in East Jerusalem, weaken the Palestinian community in the city, impede Palestinian urban development and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank."
The international community considers East Jerusalem de facto annexed by Israel. UN resolution 67/19 unambiguously speaks of "the annexation of East Jerusalem". On 27 and 28 June 1967, Eastern Jerusalem was annexed to West Jerusalem by extension of its municipal borders. East Jerusalem was incorporated into one administrative and municipal area, Jerusalem. It was placed under the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State of Israel. In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures invalid. In a reply to the resolution, Israel denied that these measures constituted annexation, and contended that it merely wanted to deliver services to its inhabitants and protect the Holy Places.
There are different opinions whether or not it is also annexed de jure, in 1967 or in 1980. Some maintain, that the application of Israeli laws on East Jerusalem implies de jure annexation. However, Israel has never formally annexed East Jerusalem, or even claimed sovereignty over it. Although the Israeli Supreme Court recognized that East Jerusalem had become an integral part of the State of Israel, it rejected in 1969 the argument that the imposition by Israel of its laws and administration on East Jerusalem was equivalent to annexation. According to lawyers, annexation of an area would automatically make its inhabitants Israeli citizens. This, however, did not happen. They became permanent residents; however, the many refugees who fled during the war were not allowed by Israel to return to their homes.
Lawyers have argued that Israel has sovereignty over East Jerusalem under international law, since Jordan did not have legal sovereignty over the territory, and thus Israel was entitled in an act of self-defense during the Six-Day War to "fill the vacuum". However this is a minority position, and international law considers all the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to be occupied territory and call for Palestinians in the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) to be given self-determination
The international community regards East Jerusalem part of the Palestinian territories. The first Israeli president Weizmann, in 1948, claimed only Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem, not including the Old City. Until the 1967 war, Israel accepted Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem, including the Old City. But after the occupation, Israel extended its claims. In 1988, while rejecting Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, Jordan renounced its territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The PLO claims Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, but has shown willingness to negotiate over sharing with Israel sovereignty over the Old City, including Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall. The PLO's current position is that East Jerusalem, as defined by the pre-1967 municipal boundaries, shall be the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel, with each state enjoying full sovereignty over its respective part of the city and with its own municipality. A joint Israeli-Palestinian development council would be responsible for coordinated development.
Both the Oslo Accords and the 2003 Road map for peace postponed the negotiations on the status of Jerusalem. Also during the last serious negotiations in 2008 with the Olmert government, Israel refused to talk about the Jerusalem question. Since 2009, when Netanyahu came into power, there has been no substantial peace process at all. Provocative statements by Israeli leaders, expressing plain rejection of negotiations on the status of East Jerusalem have become customary, notably variations of "Jerusalem is the eternal, united and indivisible capital of Israel", a vision also expressed in the Jerusalem Law. The 1997 Beilin-Eitan Agreement between the Likud block and Labor postulated that all of Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty and the "Palestinian entity" would never have its "governing center" within Jerusalem.
Israel is supposed to obstruct the negotiations by creating facts on the ground. Numerous UN resolutions have blamed the occupation and facts that change the status of Jerusalem are declared null and void. Obvious examples of such facts are the imposition of Israeli laws upon East Jerusalem, the integration into the Jerusalem municipality, the barrier in Jerusalem and an aggressive settlement policy, cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
The only Israeli-Palestinian agreement ever, arranging equal share of sovereignty over Jerusalem was the unofficial Beilin-Abu Mazen agreement of 1995, which never became reality. The Palestinians would have sovereignty over East Jerusalem, however not without legalization of the major Israeli settlements in and around Jerusalem and a guaranteed two-thirds Israeli majority. The Israeli proposals at the 2000 Camp David Summit, also envisaged inclusion of surrounding Israeli settlements, but not of Palestinian villages. There was not anymore Palestinian sovereignty within the current municipality, but some autonomy instead. The Old City would not become part of the capital of Palestine. As the Palestine Papers revealed, Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008 was quite similar to that of Ehud Barak in 2000, although Israel offered more compensation elsewhere. Again, with almost the same map as in 2000, the largely reduced Palestinian area was embedded in the surrounding settlements annexed by Israel. The Palestinians would have sovereignty over the Arab neighbourhoods, while the question of sovereignty over the Haram al-Sharif was shifted to the future. The Palestinian Authority gave away almost all of East Jerusalem (in exchange for land elsewhere), but not Ma'ale Adumim. The Israelis were still not satisfied. They wanted, inter alia, also Ma'ale Adumim, Har Homa and the major Ariel-block; and control over the Palestinian water resources, the air space and the Jordan Valley, including access routes.
Jerusalem as capital
While both Israel and Palestine declared Jerusalem their capital, the Palestinians usually refer to East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine. This is consistent with the view of a shared Jerusalem, with West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem within the pre-1967 municipal borders as the capital of Palestine.
In 1980, the Knesset adopted the "Jerusalem Law" as a Basic Law, declaring Jerusalem "complete and united", "the capital of Israel". The law applied to both West and East Jerusalem within, among others, the expanded boundaries as defined in June 1967. While the Jerusalem Law has political and symbolic importance, it added nothing to the legal or administrative circumstance of the city. Already on 23 January 1950, the Knesset had proclaimed Jerusalem capital of Israel; it refrained, however, from explicitly including East Jerusalem, which was governed by Jordan, at the time. In response to the Jerusalem Law, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 478 (the U.S. abstained), declaring the law "null and void" and a violation of international law.
The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles (Oslo I), signed 13 September 1993, deferred the settlement of the permanent status of Jerusalem to the final stages of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The possibility of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem was considered by Israel for the first time in the Taba Summit in 2001, though these negotiations ended without an agreement and this possibility has not been considered by Israel since.
To solve the oxymoron of a Palestinian capital in the "eternal, united and indivisible capital of Israel", Israeli peace proposals pushed a mere symbolic capital "East Jerusalem" confined to the outskirts of Jerusalem, outside the municipal borders, notably in Abu Dis. In such solution, Israel would keep primary sovereignty, while the Palestinians would get some form of self-rule in Arab neighbourhoods. Indeed, in 1996, the Palestinians began building government offices and even a parliament in Abu Dis, being part of East Jerusalem. Then, Israel cut it off from Jerusalem by building the separation wall. In the end, East Jerusalem is completely isolated from the West Bank by the wall and a long chain of Jewish settlements, which makes a shared city for two capitals quite unrealistic.
In 1990 the United States Senate adopted a resolution "acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's capital" and stating that it "strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city." In 1991 however, United States Secretary of State James Baker stated that the United States is "opposed to the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the extension of Israeli law on it and the extension of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries". Historically, the US had viewed East Jerusalem as forming part of the West Bank, a territory under belligerent occupation. However, the subsequent Clinton Administration refused to characterise East Jerusalem as being under occupation and viewed it as a territory over which sovereignty was undefined. Vice President Gore stated that the US viewed "united Jerusalem" as the capital of Israel. In light of this designation, the US has since abstained from Security Council resolutions which use language which construes East Jerusalem as forming part of the West Bank. In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which declared that Jerusalem should remain undivided and that it should be recognized as Israel's capital.
Following the 1967 war, Israel conducted a census in East Jerusalem and granted permanent Israeli residency to those Arab Jerusalemites present at the time of the census. Those not present lost the right to reside in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Palestinians are permitted to apply for Israeli citizenship, provided they meet the requirements for naturalization—such as swearing allegiance to Israel and renouncing all other citizenships—which most of them refuse to do. At the end of 2005, 93% of the Arab population of East Jerusalem had permanent residency and 5% had Israeli citizenship.
As residents, East Jerusalemites rejecting Israeli citizenship have the right to vote in municipal elections and play a role in the administration of the city. Residents pay taxes, and following a 1988 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, East Jerusalem residents are guaranteed the right to social security benefits and state health care.
Until 1995, those who lived abroad for more than seven years or obtained residency or citizenship in another country were deemed liable to lose their residency status. In 1995, Israel began revoking permanent residency status from former Arab residents of Jerusalem who could not prove that their "center of life" was still in Jerusalem. This policy was rescinded four years later. In March 2000, the Minister of the Interior, Natan Sharansky, stated that the "quiet deportation" policy would cease, the prior policy would be restored, and Arab natives to Jerusalem would be able to regain residency if they could prove that they have visited Israel at least once every three years. Since December 1995, permanent residency of more than 3,000 individuals "expired," leaving them with neither citizenship nor residency. Despite changes in policy under Sharansky, in 2006 the number of former Arab Jerusalemites to lose their residency status was 1,363, a sixfold increase on the year before. The loss of status is automatic and sometimes occurs without their knowledge.
According to the Israeli non-governmental organization B'Tselem, since the 1990s, policies that made construction permits harder to obtain for Arab residents have caused a housing shortage that forces many of them to seek housing outside East Jerusalem. Furthermore, East Jerusalem residents that are married to residents of the West Bank and Gaza have had to leave Jerusalem to join their husbands and wives due to the citizenship law. Furthermore, many have had to leave Jerusalem in search of work abroad since in the aftermath of the Second Intifada East Jerusalem has increasingly been cut off from the West Bank and thereby has lost its main economic hub. Israeli journalist Shahar Ilan argues that this outmigration has led many Palestinians in East Jerusalem to lose their permanent residency status.
According to the American Friends Service Committee and Marshall J. Breger, such restrictions on Palestinian planning and development in East Jerusalem are part of Israel's policy of promoting a Jewish majority in the city. On May 13, 2007, the Israeli Cabinet began discussion regarding a proposition to expand Israel's presence in East Jerusalem and boost its economy so as to attract Jewish settlers. To facilitate more Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, the Cabinet is now considering an approximately 5.75 billion NIS plan to reduce taxes in the area, relocate a range of governmental offices, construct new courthouses, and build a new center for Jerusalem studies. Plans to construct 25,000 Jewish homes in East Jerusalem are in the development stages. As Arab residents are hard-pressed to obtain building permits to develop existing infrastructure or housing in East Jerusalem, this proposition has received much criticism.
According to Justus Weiner of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Jerusalem municipality granted the Arab sector 36,000 building permits, "more than enough to meet the needs of Arab residents through legal construction until 2020". Both Arabs and Jews "typically wait 4-6 weeks for permit approval, enjoy a similar rate of application approvals, and pay an identical fee ($3,600) for water and sewage hook-ups on the same size living unit". Weiner writes that while illegal Jewish construction typically involves additions to existing legal structures, illegal Arab construction involves the construction of entire multi-floor buildings with 4 to 25 living units, built with financial assistance from the Palestinian National Authority on land not legally owned by the builder.
In the 1967 census, the Israeli authorities registered 66,000 Palestinian residents (44,000 residing in the area known before the 1967 war as East Jerusalem; and 22,000, in the West Bank area annexed to Jerusalem after the war). Only a few hundred Jews were living in East Jerusalem at that time. By June 1993, a Jewish majority was established in East Jerusalem: 155,000 Jews were officially registered residents, as compared to 150,000 Palestinians.
At the end of 2008, the population of East Jerusalem was 456,300, comprising 60% of Jerusalem's residents. Of these, 195,500 (43%) are Jews, (comprising 40% of the Jewish population of Jerusalem as a whole), 260,800 (57%) are Muslim (comprising 98% of the Muslim population of Jerusalem). In 2008, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported the number of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem was 208,000 according to a recently completed census.
At the end of 2008, East Jerusalem's main Arab neighborhoods include Shuafat (38,800), Beit Hanina (27,900), Muslim Quarter (26,300) At-Tur (including Al Sawana (24,400). East Jerusalem's main Jewish neighborhoods include Ramot (42,200), Pisgat Ze'ev (42,100), Gilo (26,900), Neve Yaakov (20,400), Ramat Shlomo (15,100) and East Talpiot (12,200). The Old City has an Arab population of 36,681 and a Jewish population of 3,847.
Until 1998, residents of East Jerusalem were severely disadvantaged in terms of healthcare service and providers. By 2012, almost every neighborhood in East Jerusalem has health clinics that include advanced medical equipment, specialized ER units, X-ray diagnostic centers and dental clinics. Healthcare in Israel enables all Israeli citizens and East Jerusalem residents to receive free healthcare service funded by the Israeli government. In some cases, East Jerusalem residents can get free transportation to clinics, free subscriptions to health clubs or free dental care, to ensure that they don’t switch to a rival health care HMO provider.
According to Haaretz, the quality of healthcare centers between Israeli cities and East Jerusalem are almost equal. The health quality indices in East Jerusalem increased from a grade of 74 in 2009 to 87 in 2012, which is the same quality grade the clinics in West Jerusalem receive.
Jerusalem was designated the Arab Capital of Culture in 2009. March 2009, Israels Internal Security Minister responded with a number of injunctions, banning scheduled cultural events in the framework of this designation in Jerusalem, Nazareth and in other parts of the Palestinian Territories. The Minister instructed Israel Police to "suppress any attempts by the PA to hold events in Jerusalem and throughout the rest of the country". The minister issued the ban on the basis that the events would be a violation of a clause in the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that forbids the Palestinian Authority (PA) from organizing events in Israeli territory. However, the Palestinian Territories are internationally not recognized as Israeli territory.
On 22 June 2013, the Israeli Public Security Minister closed the El-Hakawati Theater for eight days, to prevent a puppet theater festival with an 18 years tradition. Israel Security Agency Shin Bet accused the Palestinian Authority of funding the child-festival, which was denied by the theater director. A month later, members of Israel’s theater world held a protest.
On 29 June 2013, Israel has denied members of the Ramallah Orchestra from the Al Kamandjâti music school access to East Jerusalem, where they would give a concert in the French St. Anne's church. After they had climbed over the Separation Wall, the concert, however, could eventually take place.
May 2013, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD published a report detailing a thorough investigation of the East Jerusalem economy. The report criticized the Israeli occupation for neglect and economic isolation of the non-Jewish communities in the area. It highlighted a 77% to 25% differential in the number of households living below the poverty line in non-Jewish and Jewish households respectively. The differential in child poverty being a massive 84% for Palestinian children, as opposed to 45% of Jewish. The major problem being the stranglehold on movement of goods and people imposed by the Israelis. The only hope for a solution recommended was a dramatic relaxation of the political situation.
Israelization of residents
East Jerusalem residents are increasingly becoming integrated into Israeli society. Trends among East Jerusalem residents have shown: increasing numbers of applications for an Israeli ID card; more high-school students taking the Israeli matriculation exams; greater numbers enrolling in Israeli academic institutions; a decline in the birthrate; more requests for building permits; a rising number of East Jerusalem youth volunteering for national service; a higher level of satisfaction according to polls of residents; increased Israeli health services; and a survey showing that in a final agreement more East Jerusalem Palestinians would prefer to remain under Israeli rule.
According to the Israeli Education Ministry, the number of East Jerusalem high school students who took Israeli matriculation exams rose from 5,240 in 2008 to 6,022 in 2011. There are 10 schools in East Jerusalem that specialize in preparing East Jerusalem students for Israeli universities and colleges; one of the biggest schools is the Anta Ma’ana (“You are with us”) Institute on Al-Zahara Street.
East Jerusalem has a shortage of schools for Palestinian children. In 2012, the classroom shortage was reportedly 1,100, due to what Haaretz described as "years of intentional neglect of East Jerusalem schools, which serve the Arab population by the Education Ministry and the city". A relatively high dropout rate of schoolchildren is found in the Arab sector, even 40% among 12th graders in 2011.
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- Haaretz, 24 July 2013, Theater of the absurd
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