East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (Arabic: القدس الشرقيةal-Quds al-Sharqit; Hebrew: מזרח ירושלים‎) is the sector of Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan during the Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel.[a] Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, East Jerusalem has been, along with the rest of the West Bank, occupied by Israel.

This area 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, Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as a number of adjacent neighbourhoods. Israeli and Palestinian definitions of it differ.[b] The Palestinian official position is based on the 1949 Armistice Agreements, while the Israeli position is based mainly on the current municipality boundaries of Jerusalem. These were determined by a series of administrative enlargements decided by Israeli municipal authorities since the June 1967 Six-Day War. Despite its name, East Jerusalem includes neighborhoods to the north, east and south of the Old City and, in the wider definition of the term, even on all these sides of West Jerusalem. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to be illegal under international law. Israel disputes this interpretation.

During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was contested between Jordan and Israel. At the cessation of hostilities, the two countries secretly negotiated a division of the city, with the eastern sector coming under Jordanian rule. This arrangement was formalized in the Rhodes Agreement in March 1949.[3][c]

David Ben-Gurion presented his party's assertion that "Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel" in December 1949,[5] and, the following year, Jordan annexed East Jerusalem.[6][7] These decisions were confirmed respectively in the Knesset in January 1950 and the Jordanian Parliament in April 1950.[8] When occupied by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem, with expanded borders, came under direct Israeli rule, though, according to Ian Lustick, never formally annexed.[d] In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures trying to change the status of the city to be invalid.[11]

In the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'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 proclaiming Jerusalem as its capital, and in October 2002, this law was approved by chairman Yasser Arafat.[12] Since that time Israel has shut down all offices and NGO organisations connected to the PLO in East Jerusalem, saying that the Oslo Accords do not permit the Palestinian National Authority to operate in Jerusalem.[e] The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recognised East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine on 13 December 2017.[14]

Map of East Jerusalem. The Arab areas are coloured green while the Jewish areas are blue.

Political term

East Jerusalem is a term that has strong political implications. Arabs use the term Arab Jerusalem for this area in official English-language documents, emphasizing the predominance of the Arabic-speaking Palestinian population and distinguishing it from the Hebrew-speaking parts of Jerusalem. Israelis call the Arab-populated part of the city East Jerusalem because of its geographic location in the eastern part of the single larger Jerusalem city unit.[15]

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 occupation 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)[f] of the West Bank, including territory which previously included 28 villages and areas of the Bethlehem and Beit Jala municipalities under Jordanian rule.[17][18]


Ancient period

The area of East Jerusalem has been inhabited since 5,000 BCE, with settlement beginning in the Chalcolithic period. Tombs are attested by the Early Bronze Age, around 3,200 BCE. In the late second millennium BCE Settlement concentrated around the City of David which was chosen because of its proximity to the Gihon Spring. Massive Canaanite constructions were undertaken, with a water channel excavated through rock drawing water to a pool inside the citadel, whose wall was a massive 23 feet thick, built from rocks some weighing up to 3 tons.[19][20]

British Mandatory Period

In 1934, the British Mandatory authorities divided Jerusalem into 12 wards for electoral purposes. The mapping was criticized by those who believed it was drawn to ensure a Palestinian majority on the Jerusalem city council. The actual mapping suggests otherwise, according to Michael Dumper, who states that the peculiar "hook" on the western electoral borders was a gerrymander made to include as many new Jewish neighbourhoods on that side as possible, while keeping outside of the boundaries Arab villages. To the east, the city's border ended at the Old City walls, in order to exclude the contiguous Arab neighbourhood of Silwan, Ras al-Amud and At-Tur and Abu Tor. These boundaries defined the municipality down to 1948.[21] By 1947 Palestinian Arabs constituted a majority overall in the Jerusalem district, but Jews predominated within the British municipal boundaries, 99,000 to 65,100 Arabs.[22] The Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem was concentrated to the Old Quarter, with a scattering also present in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.[23]

1948 Arab–Israeli War and aftermath

Of the 30 holy places in Jerusalem, only 3 were located in Western Jerusalem, with the overwhelming bulk lying within the eastern sector.[24] During the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War, a large number of Jerusalem's churches, convents, mosques, synagogues, monasteries and cemeteries were hit by shell or gunfire.[25] After the armistice the city was divided into two parts. The western portion came under Israeli rule, while the eastern portion, populated mainly by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, came under Jordanian rule, with the international community withholding recognition of the respective areas of control of both parties.[26]

During the Battle for Jerusalem, fighting in the Jewish quarter between the Jordanian Arab Legion and the IDF, Irgun and Lehi had been particularly fierce, leaving the zone in ruins. The battle and subsequent looting by Palestinian civilians left 27 synagogues and 30 schools destroyed.[27] The Jordanian army is said to have blown up, three days after conquering the area, what remained of the Hurva Synagogue, which had served both as a civilian refuge and Israeli military post.[27]

For Palestinians, expulsions from the Jerusalem area date back to January 1948, when the Haganah bombed the Semiramis Hotel in Qatamon. The death of 26 civilians marked the beginning of evacuation of the area, which increased after the nearby Deir Yassin massacre in early April, followed by a 3 day assault and looting from 30 April onwards.[28] In the first six months of the 1948 war 6,000 Jews also abandoned the city, and when war broke out, thousands fled the northern areas subject to Jordanian shelling. After the surrender to the Jordanian Arab Legion, the Red Cross, which had been invested with the authority to protect many major sites,[g] oversaw the evacuation westwards through Zion Gate of some 1,300 Jews from the Old Quarter.[30] 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. Likewise, Palestinians[h] living in such western Jerusalem neighbourhoods as Qatamon, Talbiya, Baq'a, 'Ayn Karim, Lifta[32] and Malha either fled or were forced out[i], many of them seeking refuge in the Old City[29]

East Jerusalem absorbed thousands of Palestinian refugees, a substantial number of whom were middle class people[34] from West Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods when they came under Israeli rule, and many were settled in the previous Jewish areas of the eastern sector,[35] whose inhabitants, likewise refugees, were relocated in the formerly majority-Arab suburbs of West Jerusalem, such as Overall, as a result of the conflict, the Jewish population of Jerusalem fell by 30-40% while Eyal Benvenisti states half of its Palestinian population of 60,000 left. According to the Jordanian census of 1952, East Jerusalem had an Arab population of 46.700.[36]

Jordanian rule

King Hussein flying over Temple Mount when it was under Jordanian control
King Hussein flying over the Temple Mount while it was under Jordanian control, 1965

Jerusalem was to be an international city under the 1947 UN Partition Plan. It was not included as a part of either the proposed Jewish or Arab states. 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.[35] On 23 January 1950, Israel declared Jerusalem its capital, with a Knesset resolution declaring that, "With the creation of a Jewish State, Jerusalem again became its capital".[37] Jordan followed suit on 24 April and, on the basis of a referendum conducted also among Palestinian West Bankers, the Hashemite Kingdom incorporated the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The unification was recognized by the United Kingdom, which however stipulated that they did not recognize the assertion of Jordanian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, but only de facto control. The United States, while approving the unification, withheld making any public statement and likewise affirmed that since the issue of Jerusalem was sub judice, it did not recognize either the Israeli annexation of West Jerusalem, nor the Jordanian annexation of the eastern area of the city.[38]

The municipal boundaries of Jordanian East Jerusalem were expanded to cover 6 square kilometres (2.3 sq mi) by taking in the nearby villages of Silwan, Ras al-Amud Aqabat al-Suwana, 'Ard al-Samar and parts of Shuafat.[7][39] This expansion of the boundaries was prompted in large part by the need to cope with housing the refugee flow of Palestinians from West Jerusalem.[40] While many municipal functions were shifted to Amman, in 1953, Jordan conferred on East Jerusalem the status of amana (trusteeship)- in response to Israeol efforts to make West Jerusalem Israel's capital- effectively making the city Jordan's second capital. The political motive behind the transfer of the bureaucracy to Amman lay in the desire to weaken the power of the rival al-Husayni clan.[7]

Generally the Jordanian authorities maintained the Ottoman status quo with regard to sacred sites in East Jerusalem. When the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, always an object of bitter contention between Greek Orthodox and Latin rite Christians, was engulfed in flames and severely damaged on 29 November 1949, the Vatican proposed the Tesla plan, which foresaw a reconstruction involving the demolition of the existing church and a contiguous mosque and its replacement by a predominantly Catholic-style structure. Jordan's King Abdullah gave his assent, on one condition he knew would be impossible to fulfill and therefore would abort the project. He stipulated that to go ahead, all involved denominations would have to approve the plan, which would have given the Catholic Church a primacy of authority over the others. Repairs were delayed a decade until a consensus was achieved between the Greek, Latin-rite and Armenian clerics (excluding the Copts), with Jordan playing a pivotal role as mediator.[41]

In the early 1960s Jordan gave the go-ahead for the construction of the Intercontinental Hotel on the Mount of Olives on waqf terrain expropriated in 1952 from the family of Abd al-Razzaq al-'Alami.[42] Three roads, one an access route built through the Jewish Har HaZeitim Cemetery damaged many gravestones, though opinjions differ as to the scale of the damage. For Yitzhak Reiter, the majority of graves were unaffected. According to Michael Fischbach, 40,000 of the 50,000 tombstones suffered some form of desecration.[27] The Israeli government protested the desecration, stating that some gravestones had been used for roadwork and a military latrine.[j][k] This East Jerusalem controversy inverted the terms of an earlier dispute when Jordan complained in 1950 of Israeli damage to the Mamilla cemetery in West Jerusalem.[42][l]

Tourism in Palestine had long been an undeveloped and marginal sector of the local economy, and, with the division of Jerusalem after 1948, political issues impeded its commercial development as a tourist destination.[46] Eastern Jerusalem suffered an outflow of population, partially accounted for by 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.[47] The US (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..."[48]

During the 1960s, Jerusalem saw economic improvement and its tourism industry developed significantly, and its holy sites attracted growing numbers of pilgrims, but as Jordan did not recognize Israeli passports, neither Jewish nor Muslim Israelis were allowed access to their traditional sites of worship in East Jerusalem, though Israeli Christians, with a special laissez-passer. were permitted to visit Bethlehem over Christmas and the New Year.[49][50]

After 1967 war

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the eastern part of Jerusalem came under Israeli rule, along with the entire West Bank. Shortly after the Israeli takeover, East Jerusalem was absorbed into West Jerusalem, together with several neighboring West Bank villages. In November 1967, 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", which is commonly called an act of annexation, though no such formal measure was even taken.[10][51] This declaration was determined to be "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.


On 28 June 1967 Israel extended Israeli "law, jurisdiction and administration" to the area of East Jerusalem, without naming it, by incorporating it into its municipality of West Jerusalem.[52] Internally, this move was explained as one of annexation, integrating that part of the city into Israel. Towards the international community, which was critical, it was justified as a purely technical measure, to provide equal administrative services to all its residents, and not annexation, and the same applied to Israel's assertion of a claim of sovereignty on the passage of the 30 July 1980 Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel.[m][52][54] The United Nations Security Council censured Israel for the move and declared the law "null and void" in United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, and the international community continues to regard East Jerusalem as held under Israeli occupation.[55][56] Israel then disbanded the elected Arab municipal council placing it under the administration of East Jerusalem's mayor Teddy Kollek.

A problem arose when it was noted that East Jerusalem also had a mayor, Ruhi al-Khatib, and an elected 11 other members on the Jordanian city council. Uzi Narkiss realized the Arab council had not been dismissed. He therefore ordered the deputy military governor, Ya'akov Salman, to depose the council. Salman was at a loss as to how this measure could be executed, but Narkiss insisted he find some grounds for doing so. Eventually Salman summoned Khatib and 4 other members to the Gloria Hotel restaurant, and read out a short statement in Hebrew.[57]

In the name of the Israeli Defense Forces, I respectfully inform Mr Ruhi al-Khatib and members of the Jerusalem City Council that the Council is hereby dissolved.[58]

al-Khatib demanded the order in writing, and an Arabic translation was written out on a napkin. According to Uzi Benzamin, the Israeli journalist who wrote up the encounter, "the whole episode lacked any shred of legality".[59] Soon after al-Khatib, who had worked for an orderly transition, was deported to Jordan for organizing protests.[n][60]

Services like electricity supply were transferred from Palestinian to Israeli companies, and a ministerial decision established a policy that the ratio of Jews to Palestinians, as a matter of policy, would be 76 to 24,[61] though the 2000 Masterplan adjusted this to a 70-30 ratio, which in turn had to be subject to a 60-40% proportion given Palestinian demographic growth, which now constitutes 37% of the city's population.[62] When offered a path to Israeli citizenship, the overwhelming majority opted for resident status instead, and adopted a boycott strategy against Israeli institutions.[63][o] 90% of the land of East Jerusalem included thereafter in its municipality was added after 1967 by expropriating in most cases village or private land owned by people, not from East Jerusalem itself, but who were living in 28 Palestinian villages. According to its former deputy mayor Meron Benvenisti, the plan was designed in such a way as to incorporate a maximum of land with a minimum of Arabs.[64][p] Thereafter a property tax (arnona) regime was introduced which allowed Jewish settlers a 5-year exemption and then reduced taxes, while leaving Jerusalemite West Bankers, whose zones are classified to be in the high property tax bracket, paying for 26% of municipal services, while themselves receiving only 5% of the benefit (2000).[66] By 1986 60% of Arab East Jerusalem lacked a garbage collection infrastructure, schools could not expand classrooms and were forced into a unique double-shift system.[67] Jewish neighbourhoods were allowed to build up to eight storeys high while Palestinians in East Jerusalem were restricted to two.[68] The area's infrastructure still remains in a state of neglect.[q] According to B'Tselem, as of 2017, the 370,000 overcrowded West Bankers in this zone are bereft of any control over their lives, given extreme restrictions on the movement of residents without any advance notice. Their residency can be revoked; building permits are rarely given and a separation wall fences them off from the rest of the city. Every day 140,000 Palestinnians have to negotiate checkpoints to work, get a medical check-up or visit friends.[70] Poverty has steadily increased among them, with 77% of "non-Jewish" households in Jerusalem under the Israeli poverty line, as opposed to 24.4% of Jewish families (2010).[71]

An International Crisis Group report of 2012 described the effects of Israeli policies: cut off from trade with the West Bank by the Separation Barrier, denied political organization – which Israel's counter-terrorism agency includes as "political subversion" – by the closure of the PLO's Orient House, it is an "orphan city" hemmed in by flourishing Jewish neighbourhoods. With local construction blocked, the Palestinian neighbourhoods have become slums, where even the Israeli police will not venture except for security reasons, so that criminal businesses have thrived.[72]

Territorial modifications

The extension of Israeli jurisdiction into East Jerusalem and its surroundings on into the municipality of Jerusalem involved the inclusion of several neighboring villages, expanding the municipality area of Jordanian East Jerusalem by integrating into it a further 111 km2 (43 sq mi) of West Bank territory,[73][74] while excluding many of East Jerusalem's suburbs, such as Abu Dis, Al-Eizariya, Beit Hanina and Al-Ram,[75] and dividing several Arab villages. Israel refrained however from endowing citizenship – a mark of annexation- on the Palestinians incorporated within the new municipal borders.[76]

The old Moroccan Quarter in front of the Western Wall was bulldozed three days after its capture, leading to the forced resettlement of its 135 families.[74][77] It was replaced with a large open air plaza. The Jewish Quarter, destroyed in 1948, was depopulated, rebuilt and resettled by Jews.[74]

After 1980 incorporation

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.

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.

In the Oslo Accords, the PLO conceded that the question of East Jerusalem be excluded from the interim agreement, and be left to final status negotiations.[78] Under the pretext that they are part of the PA, Israel closed many Palestinian NGOs since 2001.[13]

In the 25 January 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."[79] In 2018, Al Bawaba reported that Israel had approved the construction of 640 new "Jewish-only" housing units in the ultra orthodox Ramat Shlomo settlement.[80] Some of these units will be built on privately owned Palestinian lands.[81]

A poll conducted by Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and American Pechter Middle East Polls for the Council on Foreign Relations, among East Jerusalem Arab residents in 2011 revealed that 39% of East Jerusalem Arab residents would prefer Israeli citizenship contrary to 31% who opted for Palestinian citizenship. According to the poll, 40% of Palestinian residents would prefer to leave their neighborhoods if they would be placed under Palestinian rule.[82]

As of 1998 Jerusalem's religious heritage consists of 1072 synagogues, 52 mosques, 65 churches and 72 monasteries.[24]


Jerusalem municipal area, under Israel in 2000
Greater Jerusalem May 2006 CIA remote-sensing map 3500px
Greater Jerusalem, May 2006. CIA remote sensing map showing areas they consider settlements, plus refugee camps, fences, walls, etc.


East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since 1967 and has been effectively annexed, in an act internationally condemned, by Israel in 1980. On 27–28 June 1967, East Jerusalem was integrated into Jerusalem by extension of its municipal borders and was placed under the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State of Israel.[10] In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures trying to change the status of the city invalid.[11]

In a reply to the resolution, Israel denied these measures constituted annexation, and contended that it merely wanted to deliver services to its inhabitants and protect the Holy Places.[r] Some lawyers, among them Yehuda Blum and Julius Stone, 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".[84][s] This interpretation is a minority position, and international law considers all the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to be occupied territory[86] and call for Palestinians in the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) to be given self-determination[87]

Israel has never formally annexed Jerusalem, nor claimed sovereignty there but its extension of Israeli law and administration there in 1967, and the Jerusalem Basic Law of 1980 are often taken as coinstituting an effective form of annexation[10] The Israeli Supreme Court recognized that East Jerusalem had become an integral part of the State of Israel,[10] ruling that even if Knesset laws contravene international law, the court is bound by domestic law and therefore considers the area annexed.[88] According to lawyers, annexation of an area would automatically make its inhabitants Israeli citizens,[10] a condition lacking and East Jerusalem's Palestinians have the status of "permanent residents". The United Nations General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 2012 affirmed that East Jerusalem forms part of the West Bank and is occupied.

Historically, defining a Palestinian position on Jerusalem and East Jerusalem proved difficult, given the political conflicts that arose between strategies proposed by the local East Jerusalemite establishment led by Faisal Husseini and those of the PLO under Yasser Arafat regarding the processes to be chosen to define the city's Palestinian status.[89]

Negotiations on "share" or "divide"

East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem, with Israeli West Bank barrier in the background

Both the Oslo Accords and the 2003 Road map for peace postponed the negotiations on the status of Jerusalem. The 1997 Beilin–Eitan Agreement between some members of the Likud block and Yossi Beilin, representing Labor, which envisioned for final negotiations a limited autonomy to a demilitarized "Palestinian entity" surrounded on all sides by Israel, stated that all of Jerusalem would remain unified under Israeli sovereignty. Beilin suggested Palestinians would accept a capital outside of Jerusalem in Abu Dis, undermined the credibility of the document in Palestinian eyes.[90][91][92]

Israel's settlement policy in East Jerusalem has been described by Avi Shlaim and others as one aiming to preempt negotiations by creating facts on the ground.[93]

The Beilin–Abu Mazen agreement of 1995, suggested while Israel would not accept challenges to its political sovereignty over all of Jerusalem it might, with the idea of a holy basin, theoretically allow Palestinian extraterritorial sovereignty over a part of the East Jerusalem area, with Palestinians directly controlling the Noble Sanctuary, while Jews would obtain religious rights over the Temple Mount. This view, splitting religious and political authority, was unacceptable to Hamas and Arafat soon disowned the idea.[94] At the 2000 Camp David Summit, it was agreed there could be no return to the pre-1967 Jerusalem lines of demarcation; that Israel's unilaterally imposed municipal boundaries were not fixed; that just as Israel's expansion there would be larger than mapped just after 1967, so too the Palestinian expansion would stretch out to take in villages not connected to the city earlier; that Jerusalem would remain a single unified metropolitan unit not divided by an international border, and under the governance of two distinct municipal authorities, with one under full Palestinian sovereignty and serving as the capital of the State of Palestine, exercising full powers in most parts of East Jerusalem. An exchange of neighboruhoods was envisaged, with Israel taking sovereignty over Ma'ale Adumim, Givat Ze'ev and Gush Etzion, while excluding areas earlier included, such as Sur Baher, Beit Hanina and Shu'afat.[95] During the last serious negotiations in 2008 with the government OF Ehud Olmert, Olmert, on 16 September, included a map which foresaw a shared arrangement over Jerusalem, with Israeli settlements remaining in Israel and Palestinian neighbourhoods part of a Palestinian state and constituting their future capital. The Holy Basin, including the Old City, would be under joint trusteeship overseen by Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United States and the state of Palestine. Olmert showed, but would not share, the map with Mahmood Abbas, who was forced to make a copy of it on a napkin.[96]

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.[97]

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.[10]

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 Beilin-Abu Mazen Plan stated that, "Israel will recognize that the (portion of) the area defined as 'Al-Quds' prior to the six day war which exceeds the area annexed to Israel in 1967 will be the capital of the Palestinian state". This formulation was based, according to Tanya Reinhart, on a verbal trick in that, by conferring on Abu Dis, which was within the Jordanian municipality of Jerusalem but outside Israel's redefinition, the title the holy city referring in Arabic to Jerusalem, Israel could assert that it was acceding to the idea of dividing Jerusalem. Arafat concurred with this Israeli proposal, and Israel asserted a pre-condition, namely, that all Palestinian institutions be removed from Jerusalem proper and transferred to Abu Dis. In compliance, the Palestinians built their government offices and a proposed future parliament house there, but an undertaking to transfer Abu Dis, and the neighbouring Al-Eizariya into Area C, under full Palestinian autonomy, was never fulfilled. Ehud Barak had, it is reported, before the Camp David talks, reneged on this promise which was personally conveyed to the Palestinians through President Bill Clinton. Barak remained committed to a unified Israeli Jerusalem, the default position of all Israeli governments who regard its division as non-negotiable.[98]

At the Taba Summit in 2001 Israel made substantial concessions regarding territory but not sufficient to permit a contiguous Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.[99]

Position of the United States

American policy on Jerusalem, despite a standard refrain of "continuity," has been altered repeatedly since 1947, exhibiting sometimes drastic fluctuations since 1967.[100] Historically, down to 1967, it had viewed East Jerusalem as forming part of the West Bank, a territory under belligerent occupation.[101] On 1 March 1990, President George H. W. Bush stated publicly, the first time for an American president, an objection to Israeli building in East Jerusalem.[102] That same year, the United States Congress unanimously adopted the Senate's Concurrent Resolution 106 adopted a resolution affirming its belief that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city this view with the Senate Concurrent Resolution 113 of 1992. This was sponsored by AIPAC and, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, was a "transparent attempt to disrupt the peace process".[103] In the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 8 November 1995 it set 1999 as the final date whereby the US embassy was to be relocated to that city, stating Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel, and that no more that 50% of the State Department funds for building abroad should be allocated until the Embassy was established there. Provision was made for the exercise of a presidential waiver.[104]

In 1991, as part of a preparatory gesture before the Madrid Peace Conference the United States in a Letter of Assurances to the Palestinians (15 October 1991) stated that the United States undertook to act as an honest broker and expressed opposition to any unilateral measures that might prejudice peace talks, a statement the Palestinians understood to refer to Israeli settlements and policy in Jerusalem.[105] Nevertheless, the subsequent Clinton Administration refused to characterise East Jerusalem as being under occupation and viewed it as a territory over which sovereignty was undefined.[101] Vice President Al 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.[101]

In 2016, U.S. presidential election candidate Donald Trump vowed to recognize all of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel if he wins the election. In 2017, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and, on 14 May 2018, the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


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.[106]

Between 2008 and 2010, approximately 4,500 Palestinians resident in East Jerusalem applied for Israeli citizenship, of which one third were accepted, one third rejected, and one third had the decision postponed.[107]

As residents, East Jerusalemites without 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[70] 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.[70] 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.[108]

Urban planning

The term East Jerusalem sometimes refers to the area which was incorporated into the municipality of Jerusalem after 1967, covering some 70 km2 (27 sq mi), while 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). 39 percent (372,000) of Jerusalem's 800,000 residents are Palestinian, but the municipal budget allocates only 10% of its budget to them.[109]

East Jerusalem has been designed to become an Israeli Jewish city surrounding numerous small enclaves, under military control, for the Palestinian residents.[110] The last link in the chain of settlements closing off East Jerusalem from the West Bank was forged in 1997 when Binyamin Netanyahu approved, as part of what he perceived as a battle for the city, the construction of the settlement of Har Homa.[t]

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.[111] 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. Many have left Jerusalem in search of work abroad, as, 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 Shahar argues that this outmigration has led many Palestinians in East Jerusalem to lose their permanent residency status.[112]

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.[113][114]

On 13 May 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.[115][116]

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 owned by the builder.[117]

A European Union report of March 2010 has asserted that 93,000 East Jerusalem Palestinians, 33% of the total, are at risk of losing their homes, given Israeli building restrictions imposed on them, with only 13% of the municipal territory allowed for their housing, as opposed to 53% for Jewish settlement. It wrote further that in 2013 98 such buildings were demolished, leaving 298 people homeless, while a further 400 lost their workplace and livelihoods, and that 80% live below the poverty level. 2,000 Palestinian children, and 250 teachers in the sector must pass Israeli checkpoints to get to school each day.[109]

Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem have 30 times the number of playgrounds that Palestinian areas have. One was built for the 40,000 strong community of Sur Baher with Belgian funding in 2015 after a Jerusalem court directed the municipal council to begin constructing them. It was constructed without a permit, and the Israeli authorities say the difference is due to the difficulty of finding vacant lots suitable to playgrounds in the Arab sectors.[118]


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, since most Jews had been expelled in 1948 during the Jordanian rule.[119]

By June 1993, a Jewish majority was established in East Jerusalem: 155,000 Jews were officially registered residents, as compared to 150,000 Palestinians.[120]

At the end of 2008, the population of East Jerusalem was 456,300, comprising 60% of Jerusalem's residents. Of these, 195,500 (43%) were Jews, (comprising 40% of the Jewish population of Jerusalem as a whole), and 260,800 (57%) were Arabs. Of the Arabs, 95% were Muslims, comprising 98% of the Muslim population of Jerusalem, and the remaining 5% were Christians.[121] 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.[122]

At the end of 2008, East Jerusalem's main Arab neighborhoods included Shuafat (38,800), Beit Hanina (27,900), the Muslim Quarter of the Old City (26,300), At-Tur including As-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 (including the already mentioned Muslim Quarter) has an Arab population of 36,681 and a Jewish population of 3,847.[123]


Until 1998, residents of East Jerusalem were disadvantaged in terms of healthcare service and providers. By 2012, almost every neighborhood in East Jerusalem had health clinics that included advanced medical equipment, specialized ER units, X-ray diagnostic centers and dental clinics.[124] Israel's system of healthcare entitles all Israeli citizens and East Jerusalem residents to receive free healthcare service funded by the Israeli government.

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 received.[124] According to ACRI, only 11% of the residents of East Jerusalem are treated by the welfare services. In 2006 64% of the Palestinian population lived below the population. By 2015 75%, and 84% of their children, live below the poverty line.[125]


Jerusalem was designated the Arab Capital of Culture in 2009.[126][127] In March 2009, Israel's 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.[128]

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-year tradition. Israel Security Agency Shin Bet accused the Palestinian Authority of funding the child-festival, which was denied by the theater director.[129] A month later, members of Israel's theater world held a protest.[130]

On 29 June 2013, Israel denied members of the Ramallah Orchestra from the Al Kamandjâti music school access to East Jerusalem, where they were to give a concert in the French St. Anne's church. Nevertheless, after the musicians had climbed over the Separation Wall, the concert eventually took place.[131][132]


May 2013, UNCTAD published the first comprehensive investigation into the East Jerusalem economy undertaken by the United Nations.[133] The report concluded that the Israeli occupation had caused the economy to shrink by half in the last 20 years compared to West Bank and Gaza Strip, which it described as "a dismal testament to the decline of the East Jerusalem economy and its growing isolation under prolonged occupation", that resulted in the economic isolation of Palestinian residents.[133][134] It found a 77% to 25% differential in the number of households living below the poverty line in non-Jewish and Jewish households respectively, with the differential in child poverty being 84% for Palestinian children as opposed to 45% for Jewish children.[133][134] Major problems were said to be restrictions on movement of goods and people, which Israel says are imposed for security reasons, and Israeli neglect of "dire socio-economic conditions".[133][134] UNCTAD said "the Israeli government could go much further in meeting its obligations as an occupying power by acting with vigour to improve the economic conditions in East Jerusalem and the well-being of its Palestinian residents".[133][134] The Palestinians' governor of Jerusalem said "some relaxation of the political situation" was required for the economy to improve.[133]


Over 95% of East Jerusalemite Palestinians retain residency status rather than citizenship. Application for citizenship have grown from 69 (2003) to over 1,000 (2018) but obtaining Israel citizenship has been described as an uphill battle, with the number of applicants who receive a positive response meager. Obtaining an appointment for an interview along can take 3 years followed by another 3 to 4 years to obtain a decision one way or another. Of 1,081 requests in 2016 only 7 were approved, though by 2018, 353 approvals were given to the 1,012 Palestinians applying. lack of sufficient fluency in Hebrew, suspicions the applicant might have property in the West Bank, or be a security risk (such as having once visited a relative gaoled on security grounds).[135]

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.[124]

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.[124]

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.[136]


Schmidt's College P6080050
The new building is Schmidt's Girls College.

Schools in East Jerusalem include:


See also


  1. ^ "following the war between Israel and the Palestinian and Arab states in 1948, Jerusalem was divided into an Israeli-held western sector and a Jordanian-held eastern sector."[1]
  2. ^ "Israeli and Palestinian sources differ in their definition of East Jerusalem."[2]
  3. ^ "Both states treated the respective sectors of Jerusalem under their effective control as forming an integral part of their state territory between 1948 and 1967, and each recognized the other's de facto control in their respective sectors by the signature of the 1949 Jordan-Israel General Armistice Agreement."[4]
  4. ^ Lustick's thesis has been challenged.[9][10]
  5. ^ "Since 2001, Israel has shut down more than 22 Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including charities and service centers in Jerusalem, causing increased suffering for the people of this city already struggling under Israeli occupation. This was carried out under various pretexts, most notably the claim that the agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), especially the Oslo Accords, prohibit the establishment of any activity of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Jerusalem."[13]
  6. ^ According to Ian Lustick the area consisted of 71 km2 (27 sq mi)[16]
  7. ^ "Such buildings included the YMCA, the King David Hotel (the around these two building constituted the international area of the Red Cross), the Government House and all the hospitals, as long as they were not used for waging war operations, like the Hadassah and others. Immediately after midnight on May 14, the Jewish army occupied all these security zones. So they occupied the Greek and German colonies, the Upper Baq'a, the Russian Compounds and the prisons, and later arrived in front of the Old City Walls. The next day, they started to pound the Old City Gates with bombs, mortar shells and rifle fire, claiming to want to take the city, but with a first priority of rescuing the almost two thousand besieged Jews inside the city, many of whom were from the Haganah organization".[29]
  8. ^ By Jerusalemite "Palestinians" for this period, aside from Jews, are to be understood significant communities of Armenians, Syriacs, Greeks and Ethiopians, and German Templars, the former particularly present in the Old City, but with all groups maintaining substantial holdings and residences in what became West Jerusalem.[31]
  9. ^ 'Zionist militias began to attack the large, middle-class Aarab suburbs in West Jerusalem. Our neighbours in Ilaret al-Nammareh started to flee the highly equipped Zionist militias who had begun advancing toward our neighbourhood. Raiding parties cut telephone and electric wires. My father heard the Zionists demand that we all leave immediately. Their loudspeaker-equipped vans drove through the streets, blaring such messages as "Unless you leave your houses, the fate of Deir Yassin will be your fate!"[33]
  10. ^ "The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was ransacked: graves were desecrated: thousands of tombstones were smashed or taken away and used as building material, paving stones or, as Israel claimed, used for latrines in the Jordanian Army camps. The Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the cemetery and graves were demolished to make a way for a road to the hotel."[43]
  11. ^ "Many thousand tombstones were taken from the ancient cemetery of the Mount of Olives to serve as building material or paving stones. A few were even used to serve as building material or paving stones. A few were even used to surface the footpath leading to a latrine in a Jordanian army camp. With the financial assistance of Pan American Airlines, Jordan built the Hotel Intercontinental – a plush hotel on the hill of Jesus' agony! Obviously a road was needed, worthy of the triumphant showpiece. Of all the possible routes, the one chosen cut through hundreds of Jewish graves. They were torn open and the bones scattered."[44]
  12. ^ "This has been a casual desecration, albeit one less well publicized than that of Jewish tombs on the Mount of Olives from 1949 until 1967, and with no overarching purpose guiding it, except perhaps that of replacing the old with the new, the Arab with the Israeli, which motivated so many actions of the Israeli state after 1948.."[45]
  13. ^ "In terms of internal Israeli politics, local leaders were not shy to admit that as a result of these enactments, East Jerusalem was now fully integrated within Israel. Asher Maoz aptly summarized this policy as follows: 'while the leaders of the state were making it clear both within and without the Knesset that East Jerusalem had been annexed to Israel, the representatives of the state in international forums fervently denied that this was the result.'"[53]
  14. ^ "The IDF did not show any consideration for the fact that al-Khatib had done much to enable an orderly transition of power. The Arab mayor had, for three weeks, taken action to reopen shops, remove debris and bodies, ensure the operation of the electrical grid and the supply of fuel, milk, and flour from the western side of the city. In radio broadcasts, he called on the city's Arabs to hand over weapons in their possession to the Israeli authorities."[57]
  15. ^ Of the 15,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites who have, since 2003, applied for Israeli citizenship, only 6,000 applications were approved by 2017.[62]
  16. ^ Levi Eshkol very early on in the occupation spoke of the need to separate the bride (the Palestinians) from the dowry (the occupied territories).[65]
  17. ^ "Why this disregard for the level of public services in east Jerusalem? The answer is a poorly kept secret: Arab east Jerusalem is simply at the bottom of the list of priorities of the Israeli authorities when it comes to funding public works...Whatever the label, it does not change the picture of Arab East Jerusalem as largely undeveloped and unserviced for over three decades of Israeli rule".[69]
  18. ^ The letter delivered to the U.N. Secretary General on July 10 reads: "The term 'annexation' used by supporters of the General Assembly's resolution of 4 July was out of place since [...] the measures adopted related to the integration of Jerusalem in the administrative and municipal spheres and furnished a legal basis for the protection of the Holy Places".[83]
  19. ^ "Others argued that it might lawfully retain them permanently on the theory that Jordan had not held lawful title and therefore, there was no sovereign power to whom the territories could revert. Israel, it was said - particularly because it took the territories defensively - had a better claim to title than anyone else. That argument ignored however the generally recognized proposition that uncertainty over sovereignty provides no ground to retain territory taken in hostilities. Even if Jordan held the West Bank on only a de facto basis, Israel could not, even acting in self-defense, acquire title."[85]
  20. ^ "Netanyahu fired the opening shot in the battle for Jerusalem on 19 February 1997 with a plan for the construction of 6,500 housing units for 30,000 Israelis at Har Homa, in annexed East Jerusalem. 'The battle for Jerusalem has begun,' he declared in mid-March as Israeli bulldozers went into action to clear the site for a Jewish neighbourhood near the Arab village of Sur Bahir. 'We are now in the thick of it, and I do not intend to lose.' Har Homa was a pine-forested hill, south of the city proper, on the road to Bethlehem. Its Arabic name is Jabal Abu Ghunaym. The site was chosen in order to complete the chain of Jewish settlements around Jerusalem and cut off contact between the Arab side of the city and its hinterland in the West Bank. It was a blatant example of the Zionist tactic of creating facts on the ground to preempt negotiations."[93]


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  2. ^ Farsakh 2005, p. 9.
  3. ^ Hasson 2000, pp. 15–24.
  4. ^ Korman 1996, p. 251.
  5. ^ Hulme 2006, p. 94.
  6. ^ Klein 2001, p. 51.
  7. ^ a b c Dumper 1997, p. 33.
  8. ^ Korman 1996, p. 251,n.5.
  9. ^ Dumper 2014, pp. 50–51,63–64.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Lustick 1997, pp. 34–45.
  11. ^ a b UNGA 2253 1997, p. 151.
  12. ^ Cohen 2013, p. 70.
  13. ^ a b Hirbawi & Helfand 2011.
  14. ^ OIC 2017.
  15. ^ Klein 2001, p. 7.
  16. ^ Lustick 1997, pp. 35,37.
  17. ^ Holzman-Gazit 2016, p. 134, n.11.
  18. ^ Schmidt 2008, p. 340.
  19. ^ Montefiore 2011, p. 18.
  20. ^ Ussishkin 2003, p. 105.
  21. ^ Dumper 1997, pp. 27–28.
  22. ^ Tamari 2010, p. 94.
  23. ^ Dumper 2014, p. 273 n.66.
  24. ^ a b Berkovitz 1998, pp. 405–406.
  25. ^ Israeli 2014, p. 171.
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  27. ^ a b c Fischbach 2008, p. 86.
  28. ^ Tamari 2010, pp. 97–98.
  29. ^ a b Tamari 2010, p. 99.
  30. ^ Naor 2013, p. 153.
  31. ^ Tamari 2010, p. 96.
  32. ^ Tamari 2010, p. 97.
  33. ^ Nammar 2012.
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  37. ^ Slonim 1998, pp. 145–146.
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  42. ^ a b Reiter 2017, p. 179,n.13.
  43. ^ Balfour 2019, p. 162.
  44. ^ Millgram 1990, pp. 129–130.
  45. ^ Khalidi 1992, p. 140.
  46. ^ Isaac, Hall & Higgins-Desbiolles 2015, p. 15.
  47. ^ Bovis 1971, p. 99.
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  50. ^ Breger & Hammer 2010, p. 49, n.168.
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  52. ^ a b Benvenisti & Zamir 1995, p. 307.
  53. ^ Karayanni 2014, p. 4.
  54. ^ Benvenisti 2012, p. 204.
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  56. ^ Dumper 2010, p. 119.
  57. ^ a b Klein 2014, p. 155.
  58. ^ Gorenberg 2007, pp. 60–61.
  59. ^ Talhami 2017, p. 110.
  60. ^ Mattar 2005, p. 269.
  61. ^ Malki 2000, pp. 25–26.
  62. ^ a b HRW 2017b.
  63. ^ ICG 2012, pp. I–ii.
  64. ^ Makdisi 2010, pp. 64–65.
  65. ^ Handel 2010, p. 266.
  66. ^ Malki 2000, p. 34.
  67. ^ Cheshin, Hutman & Melamed 2009, p. 21.
  68. ^ Ziai 2013, p. 137.
  69. ^ Cheshin, Hutman & Melamed 2009, pp. 124–125.
  70. ^ a b c B'Tselem 2017a.
  71. ^ UNCTAD 2013, p. 96.
  72. ^ ICG 2012, pp. i–ii,1.
  73. ^ Segal 2003, p. 185.
  74. ^ a b c Hiltermann 1995.
  75. ^ Dumper 2014, p. 49.
  76. ^ Dumper 2014, p. 50.
  77. ^ Gorenberg 2007, pp. 44–45.
  78. ^ Weinberger 2007, p. 85.
  79. ^ McCarthy 2009.
  80. ^ Al Bawaba 2018.
  81. ^ Hasson & Khoury 2018.
  82. ^ Benhorin 2011.
  83. ^ Cohen 1985, p. 39.
  84. ^ Stone 2004.
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  86. ^ United Nations News Centre 2012.
  87. ^ Palestine–Israel Journal 1997.
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  91. ^ Chiller-Glaus 2007, pp. 157–158.
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  115. ^ BBC News 2007.
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  121. ^ Choshen & Korach 2010.
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External links


Annexation (Latin ad, to, and nexus, joining) is the administrative action and concept in international law relating to the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state. It is generally held to be an illegal act. It is distinct from conquest, which refers to the acquisition of control over a territory involving a change of sovereignty, and differs from cession, in which territory is given or sold through treaty, since annexation is a unilateral act where territory is seized and held by one state. It usually follows military occupation of a territory.Annexation can be legitimized via general recognition by international bodies (i.e. other countries and intergovernmental organisations).

Arab localities in Israel

Arab localities in Israel includes all population centers with a 50% or higher Arab population in Israel. East Jerusalem and Golan Heights are not internationally recognized parts of Israel proper but have been included in this list.

The city of Acre has an Arab minority of approximately 25%, while its Old City is 95% Arab. While Arabs constitute 10% of Haifa's total population, they make up 70% of Lower Haifa's residents. The central cities of Lod and Ramla each have Arab populations of 20%.

East Talpiot

East Talpiot or Armon HaNetziv is a Jewish neighborhood in southern East Jerusalem, established by Israel in 1973 on land captured in the Six-Day War and occupied since. The international community considers East Talpiot to be an Israeli settlement that is illegal under international law. East Talpiot is one of Jerusalem's Ring Neighborhoods.

Israeli-occupied territories

The Israeli-occupied territories refers to the territories occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 and sometimes also to areas of Southern Lebanon, where Israeli military was notably present to support local Lebanese militias during the civil war and after it. Originally, those territories included the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip and Jordanian-annexed West Bank. The first use of the term 'territories occupied' was in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 following the Six-Day War in 1967, which called for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles: ... Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict ... Termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. In addition to the territories occupied following the Six-Day War, Israel also occupied portions of Southern Lebanon following the 1982 Lebanon War, and maintained a military presence there until withdrawing in 2000.

From 1967 to 1981, the four areas were governed under the Israeli Military Governorate, referred to by the UN as occupied Arab territories. The IMG was dissolved in 1981, after the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. In the process, Israel handed the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, the Golan Heights was incorporated into the Northern District by the Golan Heights Law, and West Bank continued to be administrated via the Israeli Civil Administration, which the UN continued to refer to as the occupied Arab territories. Despite dissolving the military government, in line with Egyptian demands, the term Occupied Arab territories had remained in use, referring to the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and Western Golan Heights. From 1999 to early 2013, the term Palestinian territories, Occupied became utilized to refer to territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The International Court of Justice, the UN General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council regards Israel as the "Occupying Power". UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called Israel's occupation "an affront to international law." The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that Israel holds the West Bank under "belligerent occupation". According to Talia Sasson, the High Court of Justice in Israel, with a variety of different justices sitting, has repeatedly stated for more than four decades that international law applies to Israel's presence in the West Bank. Israeli governments have preferred the term "disputed territories" in the case of the West Bank. Officially Israel maintains that the West Bank is disputed territory.Israel asserts that since the disengagement of Israel from Gaza in 2005, Israel no longer occupies the Gaza Strip. However, as it retained certain control of Gaza's airspace and coastline, as of 2012 it continued to be designated as an occupying power in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly and some countries and various human rights organizations.

Israeli settlement

Israeli settlements are civilian communities inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish ethnicity, built predominantly on lands within the Palestinian territories, which Israel has militarily occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War, and partly on lands considered Syrian territory also militarily occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. Such settlements within Palestinian territories currently exist in Area C of the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, and within Syrian territory in the Golan Heights.

Following the 1967 war, Israeli settlements also existed within Egyptian territory in the Sinai Peninsula, and within the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip; however, Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 Egypt–Israel peace agreement and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 under Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. Israel dismantled 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, while in 2005 all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip were dismantled, but only four in the West Bank. In the West Bank, however, Israel continues to expand its remaining settlements as well as settling new areas, despite pressure from the international community to desist. According to the Israeli investigative reporter Uri Blau, settlements received funding by private tax-exempt U.S. NGOs of $220 million for 2009–2013, suggesting that the U.S. is indirectly subsidizing their creation.The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal, and the United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.The Israeli-occupied area known as East Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are also considered settlements by the international community, though Israel has applied its civil law to both territories and does not consider its developments there to be settlements. The International Court of Justice also says these purportedly annexed settlements are illegal in a 2004 advisory opinion.In April 2012, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, in response to moves by Israel to legalise Israeli outposts, reiterated that all settlement activity is illegal, and "runs contrary to Israel's obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations." Similar criticism was advanced by the EU and the US. Israel disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that were used to declare the settlements illegal. In December 2016 United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 confirmed the illegality of the settlement enterprise and renders Israeli citizens involved with settling the West Bank vulnerable to lawsuits throughout the world.The presence and ongoing expansion of existing settlements by Israel and the construction of settlement outposts is frequently criticized as an obstacle to the Israeli–Palestinian peace process by the Palestinians, and third parties such as the OIC, the United Nations, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the European Union, and the United States have echoed those criticisms.Settlement has an economic dimension, much of it driven by the significantly lower costs of housing for Israeli citizens living in Israeli settlements compared to the cost of housing and living in Israel proper. Government spending per citizen in the settlements is double that spent per Israeli citizen in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, while government spending for settlers in isolated Israeli settlements is three times the Israeli national average. Most of the spending goes to the security of the Israeli citizens living there.On 30 June 2014, according to the Yesha Council, 382,031 Israeli citizens lived in the 121 officially recognised Israeli settlements in the West Bank. A number of Palestinian non-Israeli citizens (as opposed to Arab citizens of Israel) also reside in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, however, over 300,000 Israeli citizens (both Jewish citizens of Israel and Arab citizens of Israel) lived in settlements in East Jerusalem, and over 20,000 Israeli citizens lived in settlements in the Golan Heights. In January 2015 the Israeli Interior Ministry gave figures of 389,250 Israeli citizens living in the West Bank and a further 375,000 Israeli citizens living in East Jerusalem.Settlements range in character from farming communities and frontier villages to urban suburbs and neighborhoods. The four largest settlements, Modi'in Illit, Ma'ale Adumim, Beitar Illit and Ariel, have achieved city status. Ariel has 18,000 residents, while the rest have around 37,000 to 55,500 each.


Jerusalem (; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם‬ Yerushaláyim; Arabic: القُدس‎ al-Quds) is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. Jerusalem was named as "Urusalim" on ancient Egyptian tablets, probably meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period (14th century BCE). During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE (Iron Age II), and in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah. In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising approximately 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. In 2011, the population numbered 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000 (62%), Muslims 281,000 (35%), Christians 14,000 (around 2%) and 9,000 (1%) were not classified by religion.According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and later monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated 'ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran. As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi), the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb.

Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister (Beit Aghion) and President (Beit HaNassi), and the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem.

Jerusalem District

The Jerusalem District (Hebrew: מחוז ירושלים‎; Arabic: منطقة اورشليم (القدس)‎) is one of six administrative districts of Israel. The district capital is Jerusalem. The Jerusalem District has a land area of 652 km². The population of 1,083,300 is 66.6% Jewish and 31.8% Arab. A fifth (21%) of the Arabs in Israel live in the Jerusalem District, which includes both East and West Jerusalem. Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem has not been recognized by the international community.The majority of Arabs in the Jerusalem District are Palestinians, eligible for citizenship under Israeli law, but non-citizens by collective choice. The minority are Israeli Arabs living in Abu Ghosh, Beit Safafa and East Jerusalem, where Israeli Arab professionals have settled since the late 1970s, mainly for the provision of legal and other services to the local population. The non-Jewish population is 28.3% Muslims, 1.8% Christians and 1.4% unclassified by religion.

Jerusalem Governorate

The Jerusalem Governorate (Arabic: محافظة القدس‎ Muḥāfaẓat al-Quds; Hebrew: (נפת אל-קודס (ירושלים‬ Nafat Al-Quds (Yerushalayim)) is one of the 16 Governorates of Palestine and located in the central part of the West Bank. The Governorate has two sub-districts: Jerusalem J1, which includes the localities within the territory controlled by the Israeli Jerusalem municipality (East Jerusalem), and Jerusalem J2, which includes the remaining parts of the Jerusalem Governorate. The district capital of the Governorate is East Jerusalem (al-Quds).

The total land area of the governorate is 344 km2. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the governorate had a population of 429,500 residents in 2005, accounting for 10.5% of Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories. Adnan al-Husayni was appointed governor in 2008.

Jerusalem Law

The Jerusalem Law (Hebrew: חוק יסוד: ירושלים בירת ישראל‎, Arabic: قانون القدس‎) is a common name of Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel passed by the Knesset on 30 July 1980 (17th Av, 5740).

Although the law did not use the term, the Israeli Supreme Court interpreted the law as an effective Annexation of East Jerusalem.

Jordanian annexation of the West Bank

The Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was the occupation and consequent annexation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by Jordan (formerly Transjordan) in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. During the war, Jordan's Arab Legion conquered the Old City of Jerusalem and took control of territory on the western side of the Jordan River, including the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus. At the end of hostilities, Jordan was in complete control of the West Bank.

Following the December 1948 Jericho Conference, and the 1949 renaming of the country from Transjordan to Jordan, the West Bank was formally annexed on 24 April 1950.

The annexation was widely considered as illegal and void by the international community. A month afterwards, the Arab League declared that they viewed the area "annexed by Jordan as a trust in its hands until the Palestine case is fully solved in the interests of its inhabitants." Recognition of Jordan's declaration of annexation was only granted by the United Kingdom, Iraq and Pakistan.When Jordan transferred its full citizenship rights to the residents of the West Bank, the annexation more than doubled the population of Jordan. The naturalized Palestinians enjoyed equal opportunities in all sectors of the state without discrimination, and they were given half of the seats of the Jordanian parliament.After Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Palestinians there remained Jordanian citizens until Jordan decided to renounce claims and sever administrative ties with the territory in 1988.

Kiryat Menachem Begin

Kiryat Menachem Begin, named after former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and also known as Kiryat HaMemshala, is a complex of government buildings in East Jerusalem located between Sheikh Jarrah in the north, adjacent to Mount Scopus in the east and Ammunition Hill in the west.

Ma'alot Dafna

Ma'alot Dafna (Hebrew: מעלות דפנה‬) is an Israeli settlement and a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It borders the neighborhood of Shmuel HaNavi to the west, Ammunition Hill to the east, Ramat Eshkol to the north and Arzei HaBira to the south.

The international community considers Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.

Palestinian territories

Palestinian territories has been used for many years to describe the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. More recently, the official United Nations terminology has been used, occupied Palestinian territory (OPT or oPt) increasingly replacing other terms since 1999. The European Union also has adopted this usage The International Court of Justice refers to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as "the Occupied Palestinian Territory" and this term is used as the legal definition by the International Court of Justice in the ruling in July 2004. The term occupied Palestinian territories is also still in common use.

The term "Occupied Palestinian Territory" was used by the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations between October 1999 to December 2012 in order to refer to areas controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. On 29 November 2012, UNGA 67/19 reaffirmed "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967" and decided "to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations". In December 2012, a UN legal memorandum discussed appropriate terminology to be used following GA 67/19. It was noted therein that there was no legal impediment to using the designation Palestine to refer to the geographical area of the Palestinian territory. At the same time, it was explained that there was also no bar to the continued use of the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem" or such other terminology as might customarily be used by the Assembly. The ISO adopted the name change in 2013. The UN Security Council continues to treat Palestine as a non-sovereign entity, preventing its admission to UN General Assembly membership as a full member state. Israeli governments have maintained that the area involved is within territorial dispute. The extent of the territories, while subject to future negotiations, have frequently been defined by the Green Line.

Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967 and has since maintained control. Previously, these territories had been ruled by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, since the 1948 founding of Israel. In 1980, Israel officially absorbed East Jerusalem and has proclaimed the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. The inclusion, though never formally amounting to legal annexation, was condemned internationally and declared "null and void" by the United Nations Security Council. The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations, the international legal and humanitarian bodies and the international community regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian National Authority never exercised sovereignty over the area, although it housed its offices in Orient House and several other buildings as an assertion of its sovereign interests. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention. The cost of the occupation for Israel over four decades (1967–2007) is estimated to amount to $50 billion. The World Bank estimates the annual cost in 2013 to the Palestinian economy of Israeli occupation at $3.4 billion.In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, 135 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, comprising the Palestinian territories. It has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States.

In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority (Areas A and B). Israel still exercises full military control and, civil control over 61% of the West Bank (Area C). The Oslo Accords established access to the sea for Gaza within 20 nautical miles from the shore. The Berlin Commitment of 2002 reduced this to 12 miles (19 km). In October 2006 Israel imposed a 6-mile limit, and at the conclusion of the Gaza War restricted access to a 3-nautical-mile limit, beyond which a no-go zone exists. As a result, more than 3,000 Palestinian fishermen are denied access to 85% of the maritime areas agreed to in 1995. The majority of the Dead Sea area is off-limits to Palestinian use, and Palestinians are denied access to its coast line.Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005, however the international community considers the West Bank and the Gaza Strip still to be occupied by Israel. The Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007 divided the Palestinian territories politically. Abbas's Fatah largely ruled the West Bank and was recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority (see: Fatah-Hamas conflict). In 2014, the two political groups agreed to hold elections and form a compromise unity government. The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict intervened; however, the unity government survived.

Ramat Eshkol

Ramat Eshkol (רמת אשכול‬ ) (also Ramot Eshkol Hebrew: רמות אשכול‎) is an Israeli settlement and neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It was built on land captured from Jordan in the Six-Day War and was the first neighborhood built in East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967. The international community considers Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.

Ramat Shlomo

Ramat Shlomo (Hebrew: רמת שלמה‬, lit. Shlomo's (Solomon's) Heights) is a large Jewish housing development in northern East Jerusalem. The population, mostly ultra-Orthodox, is 20,000.Ramat Shlomo was built on land occupied by Israel since its capture from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered by the international community to be an Israeli settlement. The international community considers Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.

Ramot, Jerusalem

Ramot (Hebrew: רָמוֹת‬, lit. Heights), also known as Ramot Alon (Hebrew: רמות אלון‎), is a large neighborhood in a northern part of East Jerusalem. Ramot is one of Jerusalem's Ring Neighborhoods. The land was annexed by Israel after the Six-Day War, though that annexation has not been recognized internationally. As part of Ramot was established in East Jerusalem, the international community considers it an Israeli settlement. The international community considers Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.

Sharafat, East Jerusalem

Sharafat (Arabic: شرفات‎) is a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Historically, it was located in Palestine, about 5 km to the south west of Jerusalem. It is mentioned in Jerusalem chronicles from the 13th and 15th centuries, Ottoman tax records from the 16th century, and the travel writings and ethnographies of European and American visitors to Palestine in the 19th and 20th centuries.

During the period of Mamluk rule (c. 13th - early 16th centuries), Sharafat was home to the Badriyya a renowned family of awliya (Muslim saints) to whom the village was dedicated as a waqf (Islamic trust) by the viceroy of Damascus in the 14th century, and whose family tombs continue to be venerated to this day.

After the 1948 Palestine War, Sharafat lay in the area to the east of the Green Line that was ruled by Jordan until 1967. Following the occupation of the West Bank by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, it was added by Israel to the expanded Jerusalem District. In the 1970s, the Israeli government expropriated land from the village to build the Israeli settlement of Gilo, whose subsequent expansion saw the destruction of homes, vineyards and orchards in Sharafat. The Palestinian Authority (PA), established pursuant to 1993 Oslo Accords, considers Sharafat a part of its Jerusalem Governorate. In 2002, the population was made up of 978 Palestinians.

Status of Jerusalem

The status of Jerusalem is disputed in both international law and diplomatic practice, with both the Israelis and Palestinians claiming Jerusalem as their capital city. The dispute has been described as "one of the most intractable issues in the Israel–Palestine conflict", with conflicting claims to sovereignty over the city or parts of it, and access to its holy sites. The main dispute revolves around the legal status of East Jerusalem and especially the Old City of Jerusalem, while broader agreement exists regarding future Israeli presence in West Jerusalem in accordance with Israel's internationally recognised borders. The majority of United Nations (UN) member states hold the view that the final status of Jerusalem should be resolved through negotiation, and have therefore favored locating their embassies in Tel Aviv prior to a final status agreement. However, in recent years the international consensus to abstain from expressing a viewpoint on the city's final status has shown signs of fragility, with Russia, the United States and Australia adopting new policy positions. Furthermore, the proposal that Jerusalem should be the future capital of both Israel and Palestine has also gained international support, with endorsements coming from both the United Nations and the European Union.

West Bank

The West Bank (Arabic: الضفة الغربية‎ aḍ-Ḍiffah l-Ġarbiyyah; Hebrew: הגדה המערבית‎ HaGadah HaMa'aravit or יהודה ושומרון Yehuda VeShomron) is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore. The West Bank was the name given to the territory that was captured by Jordan in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and subsequently annexed in 1950 until 1967 when it was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Oslo Accords, signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, created administrative districts with varying levels of Palestinian autonomy within each area. Area C, in which Israel maintained complete civil and security control, accounts for over 60% of the territory of the West Bank.The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640 km2 plus a water area of 220 km2, consisting of the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea. As of July 2017 it has an estimated population of 2,747,943 Palestinians, and approximately 391,000 Israeli settlers, and approximately another 201,200 Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. The International Court of Justice advisory ruling (2004) concluded that events that came after the 1967 occupation of the West Bank by Israel, including the Jerusalem Law, Israel's peace treaty with Jordan and the Oslo Accords, did not change the status of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as occupied territory with Israel as the occupying power.

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