Jerusalem policy condemned
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
“The International Red
Cross has privately accused Israel of reshaping Jerusalem to further its own
interests, in violation of international law. A leaked ICRC report says Israeli
policy has far-reaching humanitarian consequences for Palestinians living under
occupation in East Jerusalem……”
whose very own and golden city?
Philippe Rekacewicz and Dominique Vidal;
Le Monde diplomatique; February 19, 2007
8 February violence broke out at the Al-Aksa mosque, revealing underlying
tensions. Jerusalem is the holy city of three religions, but Israeli government
policy has always been to preserve its control over the city to prevent its
division, so that East Jerusalem can never be the capital of a
Inroads in Muslim Quarter
Settlers' Project to
Alter Skyline of Jerusalem's Old City
By Scott Wilson, Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 11, 2007; A01
JERUSALEM, Feb. 10 “…..Karain's property is at the center of an
accelerating campaign by Jewish settler organizations to change the ethnic
and physical character of this city's oldest Arab neighborhoods. The Israeli
government is financing projects that dovetail with the settlers' goals,
which they say are to secure the Old City and an adjacent valley for Israel
in any final peace agreement with the Palestinians…. The Israeli government
is funding the first construction of a Jewish settlement in the Old City's
Muslim Quarter since taking control of it nearly four decades ago. The
Flowers Gate development plan calls for more than 20 apartments and a domed
synagogue that would alter the skyline of the Old City…...”
East Jerusalem by D.Vidal and P.Rekacewicz
last conquest of Jerusalem
April 12, 2006
the twilight of a Bethlehem evening, Jerusalem shimmers on a distant hilltop
like the Wizard of Oz's Emerald City, its floodlit walls giving it a surrealist
glow. Except that these are not the fortifications of ancient Jerusalem as seen
above, but the
appropriately named Har Homa (Wall Mountain), one of the new Israeli settlements
that now ring the city.
After millennia of violent conquest and reconquest, Jerusalem, centre of
pilgrimage, crucible of history and the world's oldest international
melting-pot, is changing hands once more, but with a slow and quiet finality…..”
Map below is from
Judaizing Jerusalem - the Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinian Capital -
Wall is almost completed in Jerusalem, snaking around Palestinian
communities and shutting them out of the city. Settlements expand and new
colonies emerge on the Palestinian lands left isolated behind the Wall. A
railway project seeks to integrate the illegal settlements into the city.
In the Palestinian capital - like the rest of Palestine - life and existence
is suffocated into ever-smaller ghettos and expulsion an imminent threat.
For over a thousand years the city has been a hub of cultural, religious and
social activity. It reflected a diversity of cultures, a rich ethnic
However, enormous changes since 1948 threaten not only to destroy the unique
fabric of the city, but the rights of the Palestinian people to reside in
their capital. Jerusalem has always been a central demand of Zionist
ideology and leaders who wished to see it cleansed of Palestinians for
That demand is now becoming a reality.
The Judaization of Jerusalem since 1948
Destruction in the Old City directly after the 1967 saw the demolition of
the Maghariba Quarter containing 125 houses for a plaza for the Western
Wall. Meanwhile, West Jerusalem was cleansed of its Palestinian residents in
the first half of 1948. Its Judaization was secured by the forced expulsion
of approximately 80,000 Palestinians from their homes and properties.
38 Palestinian villages in West Jerusalem were destroyed during the 1948
war. Numerous settlements were built on the ruins and occupied lands of
The creation of the "Jewish Quarter" in the Old City came from the transfer
of Palestinians from their homes and from the confiscation of property for
the benefit of Jews. More settlements sprang up around Jerusalem, on land
confiscated from the districts of Ramallah and Bethlehem. Their presence
isolated remaining Palestinian neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and formed a
physical outer ring around the city. This cuts Palestinians in Jerusalem off
from the rest of Palestine.
A policy of systematic and deliberate discrimination against the Palestinian
population was developed in Jerusalem through land expropriation, planning
permission and building laws. Like Apartheid South Africa, the Occupation
uses a racist ID card system. In Jerusalem Palestinians hold "temporary
residency" ID and are subjugated to discriminatory laws and taxes. Moreover,
hundreds of Palestinians have these IDs revoked on a yearly basis,
reflecting a common tactic used to drive Palestinians out of the capital.
In a rapid amount of time the Occupation constructed an illegal settlement
municipality of Jerusalem at odds with international law and the rights of
the Palestinian people. Over half of the Occupation municipality today was
not part of the city before 1967, but parts of Bethlehem and 28 other West
During the Oslo process new measures were taken to shut Palestinians out of
their capital. Checkpoints were placed on the entrances to the city.
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank were refused entry. After the
outbreak of the Intifada, Palestinians in Jerusalem have been forbidden to
enter West Bank except for Ramallah. A steady exodus of Palestinian
organizations and commerce began from the centre of Jerusalem into outlying
areas such as Abu Dis, Ezawiya, Beir Naballa and Al-Ram so they could
continue to operate. The social and cultural life of the city began to
disintegrate under the Occupation closures and continued the suffocation of
The Apartheid Wall
Once the wall is finished throughout Jerusalem it will total 181km. By
December 2005, over 130km of the 8-meter high concrete structure had been
constructed. Completion in early 2006 will leave the majority of
Palestinians in and around Jerusalem – around 190,000 people - facing two
options. To stay in Jerusalem's ghetto neighborhoods, subjected to high
Occupation taxes, imprisoned by Walls and a life under siege. Secondly,
exile into what remains of
the West Bank and Gaza or abroad, and permanent loss of the right to live in
the Palestinian capital.
Given that Palestinians rely on Jerusalem for employment, basic services and
education, the Wall is beginning to depopulate these villages as well as
tearing families and communities apart.
In the last few months 80% of the population of West Ezawiya village have
deserted their homes in order to remain in Jerusalem. Out of a population of
5000 people, only around 1000 Palestinians now remain in this village and
with the wall's completion they will be prevented fromentering Jerusalem.
The Wall around Jerusalem ensures the annexation of all the settlement blocs
around the city (also known as "the Jerusalem Envelope") and their expansion
on the Palestinian lands stolen by the Wall.
A chain of 181 Km, the concrete Wall forms a series of ghettoised
Palestinian neighborhood Palestinians are being shut in by the Wall and the
settler roads into 4 main ghettos:
Northwest Beit Duqqu, Beit Ijza, Qibia, Beit Sourik and Beit Anaan
will be merged into one ghetto. Occupation Forces have confiscated and
isolated 14,669 dunums from these villages. The North West ghetto has lost 5
martyrs so far in demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall.
North Beit Hanina, Qalandiya, Beir Nabala, al- Jeeb and Jodaira form
a ghetto. Between them the villages will lose at least 10635 dunums from the
East where Ar-Ram, Jaba', Hizma, Anata and Shoffat form a ghetto,
isolated from 6500 dunums of their lands
Southeast Abu Dis, Anata and Eizarya Ghetto where the 8-meter high
concrete wall runs through the school playground sealing off around 13,000
dunums for Maale Adumim.
Two new settler-only bypass roads planned for Jerusalem, will add to the
grid which already exists in the city, connecting the settler roads
southeast of Bethlehem to the roads to the north west. They will reach a
length of 45 Km for which 1070 dunums of land have been confiscated. This
road will demolish at least 38 houses in Sawahra, Tour and Abu Dis. The
Second Road (# 16) will connect between the Ramot Eshkol Settlement to Maale
Adumim and the other settlements in East Jerusalem. The length of the road
will be 2.8 Km.