East Jerusalem

"Arab Jerusalem" redirects here. For the British newspaper, see Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

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

East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (Arabic: القدس الشرقية, Hebrew: מזרח ירושלים) is the sector of Jerusalem that was not part of Israeli-held West Jerusalem at the end of the 1948–1949 Arab–Israeli War. Israeli and Palestinian definitions of it differ;[1] the Palestinian official position is based on the 1949 Armistice Agreements, while the Israeli position is mainly based on the current municipality boundaries of Jerusalem, which resulted from a series of administrative enlargements decided by Israeli municipal authorities since the 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.

During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was contested between Jordan and Israel, and on 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.[2][3] A week after David Ben-Gurion presented his party's assertion that "Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel" in December 1949,[4] Jordan annexed East Jerusalem.[5] These decisions were confirmed respectively in the Knesset in January 1950 and the Jordanian Parliament in April 1950.[6]

On being captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem, with expanded borders, came under Israeli rule.[7] It includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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 such, and in 2002, this law was ratified by then chairman Yasser Arafat,[8][9] although Israel does not allow Palestinian government offices in East Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since 1967 and was effectively annexed by Israel in 1980, an act internationally condemned. 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][11] In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures trying to change the status of the city invalid.[12]

1948 Arab–Israeli War aftermath

Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided into two parts. The western portion, populated primarily by Jews, came under Israeli rule, while the eastern portion, populated mainly by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, came under Jordanian rule. Arabs living in such western Jerusalem neighbourhoods as Katamon or Malha either fled or were in some cases forced out; the same fate befell Jews in the eastern areas, including the Old City and Silwan. The only eastern area of the city that remained in Israeli hands throughout the 19 years of Jordanian rule was Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University is located, which formed an enclave during that period.

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 annexed to 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][13] This declaration was determined to be "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.

Political term

East Jerusalem is a term heavy with political implications. The term Arab Jerusalem is used by Arabs in official English language documents, emphasizing the Arabic speaking Palestinian population and distinguishing it from the Hebrew speaking parts of the city. Israelis call the Arab populated part of the city East Jerusalem because of its location in the eastern part of the single larger Jerusalem city unit.[14]

The term East Jerusalem is ambiguous and may be used to refer to either of the following:


Jordanian rule

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.[17]

Upon its capture, the Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter. 58 synagogues were destroyed.[18][19] The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones there were used for construction and paving roads.[20] Jordan also destroyed the Jewish villages of Atarot and Neve Yaakov just north of Jerusalem (their sites became Jerusalem neighborhoods after 1967).

East Jerusalem absorbed some of the refugees from West Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods that came under Israeli rule. Thousands of Arab refugees who were displaced from their homes in Israeli-held West Jerusalem were settled in the previously Jewish areas of East Jerusalem.[17]

In 1950 East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank, was annexed by Jordan. Nevertheless, the annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by the United Kingdom, although the Israeli and Jordanian annexations of the two parts of Jerusalem were given only de facto recognition. During the period of Jordanian rule, East Jerusalem lost much of its importance, as it was no longer a capital, and losing its link to the coast diminished its role as a commercial hub. It even saw a population decrease, with merchants and administrators moving to Amman. On the other hand, it maintained its religious importance, as well as its role as a regional center. Reaffirming a 1953 statement, Jordan in 1960 declared Jerusalem its second capital.[21] The USA (and other powers) protested this plan, and stated it could not "recognize or associate itself in any way with actions which confer upon Jerusalem the attributes of a seat of government..."[22]

During the 1960s, Jerusalem saw economic improvement and its tourism industry developed significantly, and its holy sites attracted growing numbers of pilgrims, but Israelis of all religions were not allowed into East Jerusalem.[17][23]

Israeli rule

During the Six-Day War of 1967 Israel captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and eventually incorporated Eastern Jerusalem and its surroundings into the municipality of Jerusalem, including several neighboring villages.[24] This move, amounting to 111 km2 (43 sq mi) of West Bank territory,[25] excluded many of East Jerusalem's suburbs and divided several villages.

Under Israeli rule, members of all religions are largely granted access to their holy sites, with the Muslim Waqf maintaining control of the Temple Mount and the Muslim holy sites there. The old Moroccan Quarter in front of the Western Wall was bulldozed three days after its capture, leading to the deaths of several residents in the forced resettlement of its 135 families.[25][26][27] It was replaced with a large open air plaza. The Jewish Quarter, destroyed in 1948, was depopulated, rebuilt and resettled by Jews.[25]

After 2000

With the stated purpose of preventing infiltration during the Second Intifada, Israel decided to surround Jerusalem's eastern perimeter with a security barrier. The structure has separated East Jerusalem neighborhoods from the West Bank suburbs, all of which are under the jurisdiction of Israel and the IDF. The planned route of the separation barrier has raised much criticism, with the Israeli Supreme Court ruling that certain sections of the barrier (including East Jerusalem sections) must be re-routed.

The Oslo Accords, prohibit the establishment of any activity of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem. Under the pretext that they are part of the PA, Israel closed many Palestinian NGOs since 2001.[28]

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."[29]

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.[30]


Jerusalem municipal area, under Israel in 2000
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][11] In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures trying to change the status of the city invalid.[12]

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.[31][32][33]

There are different opinions whether or not it is also annexed in 1967 or in 1980. Some maintain that the application of Israeli laws on East Jerusalem implies annexation. Israel, however, has never formally annexed East Jerusalem, or even claimed sovereignty over it.[10] Although the Israeli Supreme Court recognized that East Jerusalem had become an integral part of the State of Israel,[10][34] it rejected in 1969 the argument that the imposition by Israel of its laws and administration on East Jerusalem was equivalent to annexation. According to lawyers, annexation of an area would automatically make its inhabitants Israeli citizens.[10] This circumstance, however, did not hold true. They became permanent residents;[35] however, the many refugees who fled during the war were not allowed by Israel to return to their homes. Some lawyers have argued that Israel has sovereignty over East Jerusalem under international law, since Jordan did not have legal sovereignty over the territory, and thus Israel was entitled in an act of self-defense during the Six-Day War to "fill the vacuum".[36] This interpretation is a minority position, and international law considers all the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to be occupied territory[37] and call for Palestinians in the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) to be given self-determination[38]

The international community regards East Jerusalem part of the Palestinian territories.[39]

The first Israeli president Weizmann, in 1948, claimed only Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem, not including the Old City.[40] Until the 1967 war, Israel accepted Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem, including the Old City. But after the occupation, Israel extended its claims. In 1988, while rejecting Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, Jordan renounced its territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The PLO claims Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, but has shown willingness to negotiate over sharing with Israel sovereignty over the Old City, including Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall. The PLO's current position is that East Jerusalem, as defined by the pre-1967 municipal boundaries, shall be the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel, with each state enjoying full sovereignty over its respective part of the city and with its own municipality. A joint Israeli-Palestinian development council would be responsible for coordinated development.[41][42]

Negotiations on "share" or "divide"

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. Also during the last serious negotiations in 2008 with the Olmert government, Israel refused to talk about the Jerusalem question.[43][44] Israeli leaders have frequently rejected, in various formulations, any possibility of negotiations questioning the status of East Jerusalem which, it is claimed, to remain part of "the eternal, united and indivisible capital of Israel",[45] a vision also expressed in the Jerusalem Law. The 1997 Beilin-Eitan Agreement between the Likud block and Labor postulated that all of Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty and the "Palestinian entity" would never have its "governing center" within Jerusalem.[46]

Israel's policy has been described as purportedly to obstruct negotiations by creating facts on the ground.[47] Numerous UN resolutions have declared null and void actions by the occupying power that change the status of Jerusalem. Examples of such actions are the imposition of Israeli laws upon East Jerusalem, the integration into the Jerusalem municipality, the barrier in Jerusalem and an active settlement policy designed to cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.[48]

The only Israeli-Palestinian agreement ever, arranging equal share of sovereignty over Jerusalem was the unofficial Beilin-Abu Mazen agreement of 1995, which never became reality. The Palestinians would have sovereignty over East Jerusalem, but not without legalization of the major Israeli settlements in and around Jerusalem and a guaranteed two-thirds Israeli majority.[49] The Israeli proposals at the 2000 Camp David Summit, also envisaged inclusion of surrounding Israeli settlements, but not of Palestinian villages. There was not anymore Palestinian sovereignty within the current municipality, but some autonomy instead. The Old City would not become part of the capital of Palestine.[50][51][52] As the Palestine Papers revealed, Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008 was quite similar to that of Ehud Barak in 2000, although Israel offered more compensation elsewhere. Again, with almost the same map as in 2000, the largely reduced Palestinian area was embedded in the surrounding settlements annexed by Israel. The Palestinians would have sovereignty over the Arab neighbourhoods, while the question of sovereignty over the Haram al-Sharif was shifted to the future.[53] The Palestinian Authority gave away almost all of the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem (in exchange for land elsewhere), but not Ma'ale Adumim. The Israelis were still not satisfied. They wanted, inter alia, also Ma'ale Adumim, Har Homa and the major Ariel-block;[43] and control over the Palestinian water resources, the air space and the Jordan Valley, including access routes.[51][54]

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.[55] This is consistent with the view of a shared Jerusalem, with West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem within the pre-1967 municipal borders as the capital of Palestine.[41]

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] Already on 23 January 1950, the Knesset had proclaimed Jerusalem capital of Israel; it refrained, however, from explicitly including East Jerusalem, which was governed by Jordan, at the time.[56] In response to the Jerusalem Law, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 478 (the U.S. abstained), declaring the law "null and void" and a violation of international law.

The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles (Oslo I), signed 13 September 1993, deferred the settlement of the permanent status of Jerusalem to the final stages of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The possibility of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem was considered by Israel for the first time in the Taba Summit in 2001,[57] although these negotiations ended without an agreement and this possibility has not been considered by Israel since.

To solve the oxymoron of a Palestinian capital in the "eternal, united and indivisible capital of Israel", Israeli peace proposals pushed a mere symbolic capital "East Jerusalem" confined to the outskirts of Jerusalem, outside the municipal borders, notably in Abu Dis.[58] In such solution, Israel would keep primary sovereignty, while the Palestinians would get some form of self-rule in Arab neighbourhoods. Indeed, in 1996, the Palestinians began building government offices and even a parliament in Abu Dis, being part of East Jerusalem. Then, Israel cut it off from Jerusalem by building the separation wall.[59] In the end, East Jerusalem will be completely isolated from the West Bank by the wall and a long chain of Jewish settlements.[60]

United States position

In 1990 the United States Senate adopted a resolution "acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's capital" and stating that it "strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city."[61] In 1991, however, United States Secretary of State James Baker stated that the United States is "opposed to the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the extension of Israeli law on it and the extension of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries".[62] Historically, the US had viewed East Jerusalem as forming part of the West Bank, a territory under belligerent occupation.[63] Nevertheles, the subsequent Clinton Administration refused to characterise East Jerusalem as being under occupation and viewed it as a territory over which sovereignty was undefined.[63] 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.[63]

In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which declared that Jerusalem should remain undivided and that it should be recognized as Israel's capital.[64] 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.


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.[65]

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.[66]

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[67] 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.[67] 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.[68]

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.[69]

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.[70] 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 Ilan argues that this outmigration has led many Palestinians in East Jerusalem to lose their permanent residency status.[71]

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.[72][73]

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.[74][75]

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.[76]

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.[69]

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 foreign 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.[77]


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 occupation.[78]

By June 1993, a Jewish majority was established in East Jerusalem: 155,000 Jews were officially registered residents, as compared to 150,000 Palestinians.[79]

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.[80] 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.[81]

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.[82]


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.[83] 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.[83] According to ACRI, only 11.3% 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 75.4%, and 83.9% of their children, live below the poverty line.[84]


Further information: 2009 Arab Capital of Culture

Jerusalem was designated the Arab Capital of Culture in 2009.[85][86] 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.[87]

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.[88] A month later, members of Israel’s theater world held a protest.[89]

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.[90][91]


May 2013, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD published a report detailing a thorough investigation of the East Jerusalem economy.[92] 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.[92][93] 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.[92][93] 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".[92][93] 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".[92][93] The Palestinians' governor of Jerusalem said "some relaxation of the political situation" was required for the economy to improve.[92]


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.[83]

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.[83]

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.[94]


The new building is Schmidt's Girls College.

Schools in East Jerusalem include:


See also


  1. Leila Farsakh, Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation, Routledge 2005 p. 9: "Israeli and Palestinian sources differ in their definition of East Jerusalem."
  2. Shlomo Hasson, 'A Master Plan for Jerusalem: Stage One – the Survey,' in Moshe Maʻoz, Sari Nusseibeh (eds.), Jerusalem: Points Beyond Friction, and Beyond, Kluwer Law International, pp. 15-24.
  3. Sharon Korman, The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, 1996 p. 251:"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. "Statements of the Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion Regarding Moving the Capital of Israel to Jerusalem".
  5. Menachem Klein, Jerusalem: The Contested City, 2001, Hurst & Co. Publishers, p. 51.
  6. Sharon Korman, The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, 1996 p. 251, n. 5.
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  16. 1 2 3 Israeli, Raphael. Jerusalem Divided: the armistice regime, 1947-1967, Routledge, 2002, p. 118.
  17. Narkiss, Bezalel (1988). The real and ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic art. Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. p. 247. ISBN 965-391-007-8.
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  30. The letter, delivered to the U.N. Secretary General on July 10, stated: "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".
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