Forced Eviction and Dispossession of Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem by Current Israeli Policies





1999 - 2000




            q          Demographics: the roots of Israeli Discrimination

            q          Israeli Land Expropriation and Settlement Expansion

            q          ID Card Confiscation

            q          Concerns Over Recent Changes to Israeli Residency Policy

            q          Housing Shortage and Overcrowding

            q          Demolition of Palestinian Homes

            q          Impact of Israeli Military Closure Around Jerusalem

            q          Restrictions on Palestinian Educational System

            q          Israeli Social Policy and Lack of Public Investment in Palestinian Areas of Jerusalem





Prepared by the Department of International Relations


at The Orient House





Table of Contents:


A.                 Introduction


B.                 Historical Background of Israeli Policies of Eviction


C.                 Demography: the Roots of Israeli Discrimination


D.                 Israeli Land Expropriation and Settlement Expansion


a.                   Realizing Greater Jerusalem

b.                   The Easter Expansion: the E1 Plan

c.                   Separating Jerusalem from the West Bank: Bypass Road Construction

d.                   The Western Expansion

e.                   Closing the Southern Ring: the "Har Homa" Settlement

f.                    Settlements Inside Palestinian Areas:

                                                  q      Ras al Amud

                                                  q      Sheikh Jarrah

                                                  q      The Old City Jerusalem


E.                  ID Card Confiscation


F.                  Concerns Over Recent Changes to Israeli Residency Policy


G.                 Housing Shortage and Overcrowding


H.                 Demolition of Palestinian Homes


I.                    Impact of Israeli Military Closure Around Jerusalem

a.                   Limitation on Freedom of Movement

b.                   Impact on Palestinian Economy

c.                   New "Erez Style" Checkpoint in Bethlehem


J.                   Restrictions on Palestinian Educational System


K.                 Israeli Social Policy and Lack of Public Investment in Palestinian Areas of Jerusalem




1st.             Chart of ID Card Confiscations (1967 - 1999)

2nd.           Chart of Israeli Settlement Activity in Municipal Jerusalem and its Sub Districts - 1999

3rd.            Map of Israeli By-Pass Roads and Settlements in Jerusalem and the Surrounding Areas




I.          Introduction


This report intends to detail current Israeli policies that create "facts on the ground" in order to consolidate Israeli sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.  These policies extend from two central strategies.  The first creates a Jewish majority in the city through establishing an inner and outer ring of "Jewish only" settlements,[1] while the second pursues the same goal by reducing the Palestinian population through policies that either forcefully evict Palestinians from Jerusalem or impede their growth and development as a community. 


Israeli policies that cause the forced eviction and dispossession of Palestinians continue under the current Israeli government even as the Israelis and Palestinians enter final status negotiations on Jerusalem.  If these talks are to be successful, it is absolutely essential that the Israelis fulfill their commitment to not initiate or take any steps that change the status of Jerusalem before final status negotiations.[2]  Moreover, it is time that the international community fulfill their obligation to enforce the 1907 Hague Convention and the 1949 Geneva Convention relating to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War in occupied Jerusalem and obligate Israel to practice its power in accordance with international law.



II.         Historical Background on Israeli Policies of Eviction


Over the past century, the leaders of the Zionist movement were driven not just to create a state but a Jewish homeland - with a firmly established Jewish majority.  In Jerusalem, as with the rest of Palestine, leaders of the Zionist movement considered the transfer of the Palestinian population and their replacement by new Jewish immigrants as the only plausible strategy to achieving this goal.[3] Although the methods of creating Jewish hegemony in historic Palestine have changed, the intent has remained the same.


The impact of Jewish immigration and the expulsion of Palestinians over 50 years has radically altered the demographic and geographic character of historic Palestine.  From 1873, before the first wave of European Jewish immigrants entered Palestine, to 1944, the overall Palestinian population in Jerusalem decreased from 73% to 40% respectively.[4] During the 1948 war, Zionist forces expelled approximately 80,000 Palestinians residents, nearly the entire Palestinian population at that time, from the western environs of Jerusalem.[5]  Already by February 1948, Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion wrote in his diary,


Since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, it has not been so Jewish as it is now.  In many Arab neighborhoods in the west one sees not a single Arab.  I do not assume that this will change.[6]


The mass expulsion of Palestinians continued in the 1967 war when an estimated 26,000 Palestinians were displaced by Israeli forces in less than a week.[7]  While the displacement of persons is often an unavoidable result of war, it must be taken into consideration that the explicit intention of the Zionist forces was to evict as many Palestinians as possible.[8]


The commitment of Israel to extend cultural and political ownership over occupied Jerusalem, gives rise to a system that is intrinsically hostile to the Palestinian population. Structurally, the Israeli State is composed of such institutions like the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency who, by virtue of their mandate, serve Jews exclusively.  For this reason, a recent UN report has proven that the Israeli State apparatus is inherently discriminatory.[9]  While causes of Palestinian eviction are now more often a result of bureaucratic policies, they cannot be viewed simply as an absence of civil rights. Rather, these policies are an inevitable consequence of the structural discrimination within the Israeli occupation.



III.        Demography and the Roots of Israeli Discrimination


To understand the logic of the West Jerusalem Municipality (WJM), it is necessary to understand the “demographic problem" as perceived by the Israeli government.  For Jerusalem municipal policy makers, endowed with the responsibility of keeping Jerusalem the capital of Israel, it is a national imperative to address the question of how to "Judaize" Jerusalem.  The importance of maintaining the demographic dominance of Jews in Jerusalem is not only paramount for the Israeli state but is supported by a majority of the Jewish Israeli public. According to a recent survey, 65% of the Jewish Israeli public support the use of such policies as restricting housing for Palestinians in Jerusalem in order to prevent them from becoming a majority.[10] 


Although it is widely understood in the WJM that preserving a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem underlies municipal legislation, the goal was first officially stated in 1973 in a report by the Interministerial Committee to Examine the Rate of Development for Jerusalem.  In this report the recommendation was made that the “demographic balance of Jews and Arabs must be maintained as it was at the end of 1972.”[11]  The balance at that time was 73.5% Jews, and 26.5% Palestinian.  Since that time, this policy goal has been restated numerous times in Israeli policy briefs, news releases and even formal development plans.[12]


In 1998, for instance, one city planner working on the Jerusalem Development Plan for 2020 stated that,


If Jerusalem is to remain the united capital of Israel it will be necessary to aim for a target in which 70% of the population will be Jewish and 30% will be Arabs in 2020.[13]


These target goals based on preserving the Jewish hegemony in Jerusalem, naturally lead to policies of discrimination against the non-Jewish population. However, regardless of the popular will and the power of the Israel government to legislate and implement policy,[14] the current system of preserving a Jewish majority is both unstable and unsustainable.  Population growth figures in 1998 indicate that the Palestinian population outpacing the Jewish by 3.5% a year to 1% respectively.[15]  As of 1998, Israeli statistics indicate that the Palestinian population reached 200,100 or 31.6% of the total population in Jerusalem,[16] while Palestinian figures give a slightly higher figure of 210,219.[17] If Israel is unsuccessful in curtailing Palestinian population growth, current estimates have the Palestinian population exceeding 38% of the total population in Jerusalem by 2020.[18]  Israel is acutely aware of this danger and has and will continue to do everything in its power to maintain control over the Palestinian population even while they engage in negotiations with them.



IV.        Israeli Land Expropriations and Settlement Expansion[19]


The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies.


-- Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 49)


Since the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has consolidated its control by expropriating at least one third of Palestinian land for the purpose of building illegal Jewish settlements around Jerusalem.[20] From an almost negligible Jewish population in 1967, illegal settlement construction has raised the Jewish population in occupied East Jerusalem to over 180,000.  Israel also expanded the municipal boundaries of Arab East Jerusalem from 6.5 km2 during the Jordanian rule to 72km2 and created an inner and outer ring of Jewish settlements around the newly annexed territory.  The purpose of this settlement construction is to maximize contiguous territory with a minimum non-Jewish population within the city’s boundaries and territorially separate Jerusalem from the Palestinian West Bank.


Despite repeated claims by the current Labor government that settlement activity will stop - on the ground, it is business as usual.  Prime Minister Barak's appointment of Israeli hard liner Yitzak Levi to the position of Minister of Housing all but ensured that settlement construction will continue.  In fact, Barak’s new government has outpaced that of his predecessor by approving the construction of 5,752 new housing units in various West Bank settlements, 2,149 of which are in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas.[21]


To illustrate the degree of settlement construction in the West Bank, 44 new settlement outposts were established in 1999[22] and 30 new settlement structural plans, with a combined area of 9,953 dunums (2,488 acres), were given final approval.[23] While most of the new settlement outposts were constructed during the Netanyahu period, Barak has given his tacit approval for 32 of them.[24] 


Moreover, 14 new by-pass roads have also been approved in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in 1999.  By-pass roads serve the dual purpose of allowing Israeli settlers travel routes around Palestinian areas while dividing Palestinian population centers so as to prevent any chance for territorial contiguity for the emerging Palestinian State.  The total area of the 14 new by-pass roads requires the confiscation of another 10,129 dunums (2,532 acres) of Palestinian land.[25]  In order to keep pace with all the new construction, Israeli legislators allotted the Israeli Ministry of Housing an increase of NIS 8,364 million in the new national budget specifically for settlement infrastructure .[26] 


According to Prime Minister Barak himself, settlement construction in Jerusalem has and will continue in the footsteps of past Labor administrations.


Look back and think how the 150,000 settlers in East Jerusalem came to live there.  It was not by a government that just talks, talks, and defers action to the next generations. No!  That [Labor] government brought 150,000 people to live in Jerusalem without any provocative actions.[27]


The current Israeli settlement activity in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas will seal Israeli control over Jerusalem before an agreement can be reached in negotiations.  The following is an analysis of the latest Israeli settlement plans, all of which are currently in varying stages of development.


i.          Realizing a Greater Metropolitan Jerusalem


On 5 May 1997 the Israeli government officially approved a plan that would annex further land into the WJM in order to realise a “Greater Jerusalem.”[28]  Once implemented, an Israeli "Greater Jerusalem" would cover an area of 860 km2, of which less than a quarter lies within pre-1967 Israel. The plan dramatically expands the scale of previous Israeli planning efforts for the Jerusalem area.


Key aspects of the plan include:


1.       The Incorporation of illegal Jewish settlements, including Givat Ze’ev, Metzpe Jericho and Ma’ale Adumim, as well as other areas inside the green line.

2.       An acceleration of by-pass road construction in the West Bank to link settlements along an eastern ring around Jerusalem

3.       Creating contiguity between the settlements of the outer ring including Givat Ze’ev, Ma’ale Adumim, Meztpe Jericho, Betar and Efrat.[29]


ii.         The Eastern Expansion: The E1 Plan


An essential element of the Israeli plan to realize a Greater Jerusalem is the E1 development plan.  Officially approved by the Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Arens on 6 March 1999, the plan was given final approval by the Israeli High Court on 4 October 1999.[30] The E1 plan covers an area of 12,443 dunums (3110 acres) and intends to develop the area between Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem (Abu Dis, Azzeriah, etc.) and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.[31]  The E1 Plan will add  approximately 10,240 dunums (2,560 acres) to Maaleh Adumim district, establishing geographic contiguity between this eastern settlement and the other north-eastern settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev, Pisgat Omer, Neve Ya'akov and French Hill.[32] 


To understand the massive impact of this plan on the territorial and demographic character of Jerusalem, the planning area of Ma'ale Adumim settlement, currently one of Israel's largest settlements with a population of approximately 25,000 settlers, would expand from its current 35 km2 to 47 km2, an area similar to that of Tel Aviv (51km2).  According to aspirations of the Ma'ale Adumim City Council, the settlement population is expected to grow to 60,000 by the year 2020.[33]  The E-1 provides a healthy start to this goal by slating another 3,500 housing units to be built in the additional space.[34]  Ma'ale Adumim also looks forward to renewed investments of multinational corporations including Burger King, who continues to operate its franchise in the city mall,[35] and plans for constructing a five star hotel and a country club with private investment from abroad.[36]    If the E1 plan is implemented and incorporated in the WJM, the planning area of Ma'aleh Adumim would expand to cover 67% of East Jerusalem, making municipal Jerusalem twice its current size.[37]  As stated by carteographer Jan de Jong,


The scale of settlement buidling and road construction achieved during the past three decades within the unilaterally extended city limits of Jerusalem - may be repeated in half the time and on a scale twice as large in terms of settler population and three times as large in terms of area.[38]


The expansion will require the expropriation of land from five Palestinian areas including Issawiyah, Anata, al Tour, Abu Dis, and el-Azaria, violating not only the right to property but exacerbating the problem of overcrowding and development.  While the illegal settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim has 25,000 settlers living in an area the size of Tel Aviv, the Palestinian neighborhoods of Abu Dis, Anata and el-Azaria have a combined population of 40,000 but only 4,600 dunums available for planning.[39]  The linkage of illegal settlements and the additional Jewish settlers will also sabotage Palestinian national rights to Jerusalem.


iii.        Separating Jerusalem from the West Bank: Bypass Road Construction


Another key element of the new E1 plan is the construction of a new by-pass road (Route 16) which will tunnel underneath Mt. Scopus and provide Ma'aleh Adumim settlers with a direct atery into occcupied Jerusalem without having to pass through Palestinian areas.  The current route for Ma'aleh Adumim settlers (Route 9) passes through several Palestinian areas on its way to Jerusalem.  


The network of bypass roads in the east is brought together by the new ring road, Route 45.  This bypass road encirlces Jerusalem and links the Ben Gurion Airport with the Jerusalem Airport in Kalandia.  By tunneling under Mt. of Olives and building a bridge over Kidron Valley, Route 45 connects settlers in the east with another "Palestinian free" route to the southern settlements of Har Homa and Gilo.  This road is not built to serve Palestinian areas, rather its primary purpose is to create an outer ring around outlying Palesitnian areas and link all the outlying Israeli settlements.  When finished, the new ring road will seal Israeli control over all routes connecting the northern West Bank from the south. 

iv.        The Westward Expansion


In order to preserve Israeli control over occupied Jerusalem, Israeli urban planners have recently decided to expand Jerusalem’s boundaries westward in order to incorporate adjacent Israeli suburbs and save the Jewish demography in Jerusalem. In May 1998, the Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem explained the reasoning behind efforts for a westward expansion stating that it would "preserve the demographic balance between Jews and Arabs currently existing in Jerusalem.”[40]   The westward expansion will not only entail the inclusion of existing Jerusalem suburbs and their primarily Jewish populations into the Jerusalem municipality but also provide for the construction of 75,000 new housing units.[41]


vi.        Closing the Southern Ring:  Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa)


In 1999, heavy construction began on realizing another illegal Israeli settlement on Jabal Abu Ghneim.  The Israeli settlement on Jabal Abu Ghneim is one of the biggest settlement projects in Israeli settlement history and when completed will be composed of 6,500 living units, with an absorption capacity of 30,000 Jewish settlers within its first stage of development.[42]  The master plan of the Israeli settlement covers an area of 2,056 dunums, most of which is confiscated from Palestinian owners in Beit Sahour and Um Taba.[43]
Its impact on the Palestinian territorial contiguity with Jerusalem is decisive. The new "Har Homa" settlement will connect to the neighboring settlements of Givat Hamotous, Gilo and Har Gilo, definitively closing the southern entrance to Jerusalem.  Palestinian areas located within the boundaries of the WJM will become isolated and outside villages will be barred access into Jerusalem.


v.         Settlements Inside Palestinian Communities


Israeli settlements inside Palestinian communities in occupied East Jerusalem by radical Jewish settler groups are not only illegal according to international law but extremely provocative. Coerced property takeovers by these settler groups, daily harassment of Palestinians by settlers, and the constant presence of private security forces contribute to a militarization of the conflict akin to the escalation of violence in Hebron.


The takeover of Palestinian property or property claimed as having former Jewish ownership in Occupied East Jerusalem, reveals another contradiction in Israeli policy.  While Jews continue to be permitted to repossess former Jewish property in East Jerusalem, Palestinians are denied that same right,[44] even though Palestinians own 70% of the properties in West Jerusalem.[45]


        q          Ras al Amud

Although preliminary approval for the settlement was given by former Interior Minister Ehud Barak, the Ras al Amud settlement (Plan #4689) received final approval from the WJM on 13 January 1999. The new settlement is another project of Florida businessman Irving Moskowitz[46] who facilitates the project with the Ateret Cohanim (Crown of Priests) settler group.  The settlement, whose construction began on 14 May 1999 (a day before the election of Barak),[47] will create 132 housing units for Jewish families inside a Palestinian community of 10,137.[48] There have already been several violent clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli settlers and inevitably continue to heighten tensions. 


        q          Sheikh Jarrah

On 10 February 1999, the 'Settlers of Zion' association led by MK Rabbi Benny Elon illegally acquired property rights to six properties in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.  Although the settler group claims that they are repossessing lost Jewish property, property rights and rental contracts were endowed to several Palestinian families, including the Abu Shousha, Al Masri, Al Nashashibi families since 1948.[49]  These Palestinian families continue to be denied their rights to properties in West Jerusalem.


        q          The Old City Jerusalem

Israeli settler activity in the Old City Jerusalem continues to transform the character of the historic city.  The number of settler controlled buildings in the Old City now numbers at least 63 with an estimated 1,000 settlers living outside the Jewish Quarter.[50]  In 1999, settler group Ateret Cohanim took over another two buildings, including a shop, and received approval from the WJM to enlarge two other properties.[51] 


There have also been repeated attempts by Jewish fundamentalists to enter the Haram al Sharif compound and desecrate the Muslim holy sites, sparking several clashes with Muslim worshipers.  Adherents to the Temple Mount Faithful, a fundamentalist Jewish group committed to "building the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in [their] lifetime,"[52] initiated most of the attempts. 


Moreover, the extreme overcrowding, the inability of Palestinian residents to renovate and restore property due to Israeli regulations, and the extensive Israeli tunneling under the Muslim Quarter[53] has caused extensive damage to Palestinian life and properties in the Old City.



V.         Israeli ID Card Confiscation


The revocation of residency rights is a prime example of the Israeli method of silently evicting Palestinians from Jerusalem.[54] By changing the residency status of Palestinian Jerusalemites to that of resident aliens in 1967, Israel gave itself the power to revoke the residency rights of Palestinians.[55]  According to official numbers from the Israeli Interior Ministry at least 6,264 Jerusalem ID cards were confiscated between 1967 and October of 1999,[56] affecting well over 25,000 Palestinians.[57] 


The policy of ID card confiscation increased by 786%[58] in 1996 due to a new policy implemented by the Interior Ministry called "center of life."  This policy greatly increased the criteria necessary for Palestinians to maintain permanent residency status.  According to lawyers working on a public petition against ID card confiscation,[59] the policy was implemented in order to stop the influx of Palestinians into Jerusalem after Israel granted Palestinian women the right to apply for family re-unification in 1994.[60]  Former Interior Minister, Eliahu Suissa, explained the purpose of the new policy by saying, “We must increase the Jewish majority in Jerusalem to more than 80%” and end the "stampede" of Palestinians residents returning to the city of their birth.[61]  From 1996 to 1999 over 3,000 Palestinians were forced to leave Jerusalem as a result of this policy.[62] 


Paradoxically, the “center of life” policy did not have its desired effect.  Although Palestinians widely regard the Israel ID card as a symbol of the Israeli occupation, possession of the blue identity card had become a lifeline for Palestinians to Jerusalem.  Not only does Israeli residency entitle the carrier to state health insurance and other social benefits but, after the military closure was imposed permanently around Jerusalem in March 1993, carrying the Israeli residency card became the only way for Palestinians to live, work and freely enter Jerusalem. In short, possession of the Israeli ID card allows the carrier to surpass many of the Israeli limitations placed on Palestinian life in Jerusalem.  Thus, despite the original intention of the Israeli policy, Palestinians began moving back into Jerusalem in order to save their residency rights.  



VI.        Concerns Over Recent Changes to Israeli Residency Policy


After three years of implementing the "center of life" policy, the Israeli government finally realized that, despite the increase in ID card confiscations, the policy did not result in an overall decrease in the Palestinian population. On 17 September 1999, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Haim Ramon stated that,


In my opinion this [center of life] policy failed both morally and practically.  The implicit aim of that policy was to reduce the number of Arab residents in East Jerusalem. What happened in fact was that the number of residents rose, but they are not Israeli citizens.[63]


International criticism of Israel's policy of ID card confiscation had been mounting and litigation, by five local and international human rights groups,[64] in the Israeli High Court to end the policy of "center of life" was forcing the Ministry to change its policy. By the 17th of October, the newly elected Interior Minister Natan Sharansky announced that he would end the policy of ID card confiscation which he called both "inhuman" and bad for Israel's image.


However, while Sharansky's declaration was welcomed by the international and Palestinian community, implementation of the new policy has been slow and its scope, unsatisfactory.  Although human rights organizations have witnessed a decrease in the number of ID card confiscations, Palestinians still receive letters from the Israeli Interior Ministry informing them that their residency has been revoked.[65]  Moreover, human rights lawyers working in litigation against the Interior Ministry have also become frustrated due to the fact that the Interior Ministry has failed to submit documents to the Israeli High Court detailing its "center of life" policy.  This despite the fact that a court order required the Ministry to submit the documents by no later than 31 October 1999.[66]  As of yet, no action has been taken to reprimand the Ministry for its delay.


Although the Interior Ministry has yet to unveil its new policy concerning Palestinian residency rights, statements by government officials fall short of the minimum of human rights standards on the following points.


        q          Palestinian residency in Jerusalem remains a 'privilege,' not a right

Israel continues to refuse Palestinians irrevocable residency status in Jerusalem.  Unlike Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem who acquire citizenship almost immediately, Palestinian Jerusalemites are classified as foreigners in their own city.  Under the emmerging new policy, Palestinians residency status will depend on maintaining an "appropriate connection" to Jerusalem, which ostensibly includes family ties or periodic visits.[67]  While this may reduce the number of confiscations, it does not give Palestinians their inalienable right to secure living in Jerusalem.


        q          Reinstatement of previously confiscated ID cards remains uncertain

Although the Orient House has reported a handful of isolated cases wherein Palestinian residency status was reinstated, the fate of well over 6,500 Palestinians whose residency was revoked between 1967 and 1999 remains uncertain.[68]   These Jerusalemites were made strangers in their hometown virtually overnight and lost not only their rights to residency and secure living but the right to access their property.


        q          No change in Israeli law allows the Interior Ministry to maintain control over defining residency policy

Palestinians must be given legally secured residency rights in Jerusalem.  Without a change in the legal status of Palestinian residency, changes in policy will remain de facto and dependent on the arbitrary discretion of the Interior Minister.  Without structural safeguards for Palestinian Jerusalemites, the Israeli Interior Ministry can and will re-interpret Palestinian residency policy at will.


        q          Treatment of Palestinians at Israeli Interior Ministry is inhumane

Palestinians continue to be treated inhumanely at the Israeli Interior Ministry.  Long lines outside the Interior Ministry under all types of weather continue to chafe at the dignity of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem.   Moreover, only 10% of those lining up outside the Ministry are actually seen by Israeli officials, meaning that most will have to return several times.[69]



G.                 Housing Shortage and Overcrowding


There is a chronic lack of housing in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem and a high level of overcrowding.  Restrictions on building and the small amount of space allowed for Palestinians combined with the influx of Palestinians who return to Jerusalem in order to preserve their residency rights has caused overcrowding to become a major problem in many Palestinian areas in Jerusalem.  In 1998, the average housing density per room was twice as high as among Jews and the problem is growing.[70]


By manipulating urban planning and restricting building permits, successive Israeli governments have succeeded to both limit and undermine the development of Palestinian communities.  Today, the majority of the land remaining in Palestinian hands after the massive expropriations in 1967, some 24 km2, is still not designated for building.[71]  In fact, between 1967 and 1997, only 12% of new building occurred in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem, most of which were privately built.[72]  Today only 5km2 of Palestinian land or 8% of the total land in East Jerusalem is included in the required Israeli master plan.[73] Of this, 7.3% is available for Palestinian residential construction and remaining 0.6% for industrial.  Most of the land, some 78% of the total area in East Jerusalem is either expropriated for “public purposes” or classified as a “green area.” These lands are often reserved for Jewish settlements, as is the case with the “Har Homa” settlement on Jabal Abu Ghneim.


According to the Jerusalem Building and Planning Law, all building in the city must be carried out within the framework of authorized Town Planning Schemes (TPS).  Without exception, all building must comply to the infrastructure, zoning and housing requirements of the Israeli plan.  But while a TPS exists for every Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, the WJM has delayed the approval of plans for Palestinian neighborhoods.  For example, a plan for Shu’fat was approved only after 13 years, for Abu Tor it took 12 years, and, for the Ras al-Amud plan submitted in 1987, authorization is still pending.  Even when a TPS is approved, the number of proposed housing units is usually cut in half.[74]


Despite these restrictions Palestinian housing has grown modestly in the past few years.  Although the majority of these houses are constructed “illegally” according to Israeli law, some 6,000 new housing units were constructed in the past three years.[75] According to the Orient House, some 40,000 housing units are needed immediately to absorb the growing Palestinian population.  Meanwhile, Israeli settlers continue to receive generous subsidies and tax breaks for housing from the Israeli government.



VIII.      Demolition of Palestinian Homes


The demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem by the WJM has continued to dispossess Palestinian families and change the landscape of Jerusalem.  In 1999, 21 Palestinian houses were demolished in municipal Jerusalem, for a total of 186 homes since 1993. [76]  Also this year, out of 141 demolition orders issued by the WJM, only 5 were issued in West Jerusalem.[77]  According to the Orient House an estimated 2,000 Palestinian homes were demolished since 1967,[78] including several historic and religious sites such as those destroyed during the destruction of the historic Moroccan Quarter in the Old City Jerusalem.[79] These demolitions have left hundreds of Palestinians without homes and contributes to their forced eviction from Jerusalem.


While Israel carries out house demolition under the pretext that these homes are being built illegally or a threat to security, excessive restrictions on building permits and the lack of space reserved for Palestinian residential building forces Palestinian to build illegally. The Israeli procedure for obtaining building permits for Palestinians is convoluted and can easily take between one to seven years and cost an average of $25,000.  Even if the Palestinian landowner is able to show the required proof of ownership, proof of Jerusalem residency, pre-payment of water, road and sewage tax, the application is likely to be turned down.  On average, the WJM issues one building permit for every additional 6.3 West Jerusalemites and only one for every 42.6 additional Palestinian residents.[80] 


The Israeli policy of house demolition also targets Palestinian areas disproportionately than Jewish areas.  While Palestinians were responsible for only 16% of building violations in Jerusalem, over two thirds of demolitions orders are given to Palestinians.[81] Moreover, although Jews commit the vast majority of building violations, the demolition of a Jewish home almost never occurs.


Most importantly though, Israeli house demolition continues to disposess Palestinians and defy international law.[82] This despite the fact that Israel has committed to exercise its power pursuant to internationally accepted norms.[83]   House demolition engenders the forced eviction of Palestinian families and changes the status of Jerusalem both demographically and topographically, giving more evidence that Israel is committed to change the reality on the ground before a negotiated agreement.



IX.        Impact of Israeli Military Closure Around Jerusalem


While thousands came from around the world to visit Jerusalem for the millenium, the only group forbidden to enter the holy city were just outside its borders.   The Israeli military closure, first imposed during the Gulf War in 1991, has continued to obstruct Palestinians right to enter Jerusalem and, after the closure was made permanent in March 1993, Palestinian national rights to Jerusalem were sabotaged as the closure became a de facto border. Since its inception, the Israeli military closure has devastated Palestinian life, including severe restricts on the freedom of movement, access to health care and has adversely effected the Palestinian economy.  There are also indications that Israel is preparing to reinforce its policy of military closure in the West Bank as it did to the Gaza Strip in 1993 when the IDF built an electric fence around the territory.


a.                   Limitations on Freedom of Movement


Any access into Jerusalem is monitored and controlled by Israel and requires Palestinians, without Jerusalem identification, to acquire an Israeli visitation permit.  Since the creation of the Palestinian Authority, Israeli visitation permits are obtained through the Palestinian District Coordinating Office (DCO).  However, since Israel is still responsible for overall security, the Palestinian DCO must submit it to their Israeli counterpart for approval thus relieving them of any real authority.  As stated by Hamoked/The Center for the Rights of the Individual, “the Palestinian officials play no real role – they are like the mailman who delivers the application to the Israelis.”[84]  Until today, Palestinians applications continue to be arbitrarily refused and, in the case of total closure, all permits are automatically invalidated. 


Moreover, as of the year 2000, Palestinians with West Bank identification are now required to register for a magnetic ID card at the Israeli Civil Administration office if they wish to apply for permission to enter Jerusalem.  The magnetic ID card allows Israeli soldiers to quickly look up all security records of the carrier as they do in Gaza since total closure was imposed there in 1993. 


b.                  Impact on Palestinian Economy


The Israeli military closure has decimated the Palestinian economy in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and Gaza.  According to UNSCO/World Bank reports, about 12% of the Palestinian labor force are employed in Israel.[85]  Since the implementation of military closure in the West Bank and Gaza, unemployment has increased by 50% (from 20% to 30%).[86]


The closure has also severely limited trade and commerce to Jerusalem and between the northern and southern West Bank. As 90 % of the value of imports and 70 % of the value of exports were from and to Israel, the closure has caused an estimated 35% decline in per capita GNP between 1992 and 1996.[87]  Moreover, Palestinians wishing to travel between the northern and southern West Bank are now forced to take the treacherous and costly Wadi Nar road in order to avoid the WJM boundaries.


In Jerusalem itself, many Palestinian businesses, NGOs and cultural institutions have left Jerusalem for the other Palestinian territories in order to avoid complications.  Moreover, other Palestinian businesses and gathering places closed during the Israeli occupation, have not been able to reopen.  This has greatly exacerbated the economic gap between East and West Jerusalem.


c.                   New "Erez Style" Checkpoint in Bethlehem


In 1999, Israel began to construct a new military checkpoint in Bethlehem modeled on the one used in Erez, Gaza. According to recent construction and an Israeli map handed to the Palestinian DCO office in Bethlehem, the new checkpoint will create two arteries into Jerusalem: one for Palestinians and one for Jewish settlers, tourists, and VIPs. From Rachel's Tomb to the Gilo Junction, Palestinians will be separated from the Hebron Road and forced to use an alternative route, park unauthorized cars in a 700 car parking lot and walk 650 meters to a new checkpoint.  An estimated 500,000 Palestinians, the entire population of the southern West Bank, would be affected by this plan.


On October 21, Bethlehem University students demonstrated at Rachel's Tomb against the new Israeli checkpoint.  Without provocation, Israeli soldiers fired on the students, beginning 5 days of intense clashes in which one Palestinian is killed and dozens injured by tear gas and various ammunitions.  Despite the "provocation", Israel has continued construction on the new checkpoint which is scheduled for completion this year.



X.         Restrictions on Palestinian Education


The Israelis have always viewed control over the Palestinian educational system in Jerusalem as a key strategy in their efforts to exert cultural and political control over Jerusalem.  Due to the resistance of Palestinian students who transferred en masse to private schools where the Jordanian curriculum was still taught, repeated attempts by the Israelis to impose the Israeli Arab curriculum on all Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem schools have failed.[88]   However, the restraints placed on Palestinian schools has created many hardships and lowered the standard of education in general. 


Today, there are 34 non-municipal schools, composed of private, Waqf, and UNWRA schools, and 35 WJM schools in East Jerusalem, educating 49,165 Palestinian students.[89]  In attempts to consolidate its control over the Palestinian education system, Israel has attempted to force non-municipal Palestinian schools to accept state funding by limiting the transfer of funds from Jordan and the PLO.   Although this strategy has been largely unsuccessful, non-municipal Palestinian schools face a difficult dilemma.   Receive funding from the WJM and accept their conditions or remain a discrete institution and risk lowering the standard of education.   As the Palestinian schools continue to resist the Israeli occupation, the financial situation has become so grave that some schools cannot even afford rent. “Schools cannot live on national rhetoric and aspirations alone,” states Samia Khouri, President of the charitable school Rawdat el-Zuhur. “No financial support will force a change in the curriculum and a decline in the standard of education.”[90] 


Unfortunately, although the Palestinian side officially took responsibility for Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem in 1994,[91] the financial problems of Palestinian schools have not improved.  The Israeli government, by virtue of the ‘Jerusalem Bill,’ prevents Palestinian national institutions from operating in the city. Although Israel cannot prevent the Palestinian side from issuing the curriculum in East Jerusalem schools, Israel has disallowed the transfer of any funds from the PA to Palestinian schools.  Suad Qaddoumi, a senior administrator in the Palestinian Ministry of Education states that, “there are many problems because of the occupation. The Palestinian Ministry of Education cannot enter East Jerusalem.” [92]  The lack of funds has caused many problems with substandard classrooms, shortage of equipment, and payments to Palestinian teachers.  Also, according to the 1999 report by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, one third of Palestinian teachers regularly have difficulties entering Jerusalem as a result of the Israeli military closure.


Schools funded and run by the WJM have also been found to be severely sub-standard. According to its own mandate the Jerusalem Municipality has failed to adequately fund public schools. In the recent investigation headed by former Education Ministry Director, General Ben Zion Dell, the Minister stated


The educational system in East Jerusalem does not meet the necessary pedagogic standards. The teaching methods are outdated, the studying environment lacks resources and there are hardly any assistance services.[93]


The report goes on to indicate that 30% of elementary school students in East Jerusalem are illiterate and 40% of High School students drop out.  This data is confirmed by Palestinian statistics in the Old City by the Society for Austro-Arab Relations which indicate 35% of female students and 59% of male students drop out of school, mostly for reasons of substandard education and financial responsibilities to their families.[94] Discrimination in the WJM is further evidenced by the fact that while there is 26 public libraries in West Jerusalem, there are only two in the eastern part of the city and not a single cinema.



XI.        Israeli Social Policy and Lack of Public Investment in Palestinian Areas of Jerusalem


As the Israeli occupation prevents the PLO from collecting taxes or investing in infrastructure and municipal services, Palestinians depend heavily on WJM services for their basic needs. By levying proportionately heavy taxes on the Palestinian population and withholding public investment in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem, the Israeli government has contributed to the underdevelopment of Palestinian communities in Jerusalem. 


Although it is illegal under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, for a populace to be taxed by an occupying power, Israel has steadily increased the level of taxation on Palestinians in East Jerusalem.  Already by mid-1968, Palestinian Jerusalemites were charged the same as Israelis, with an increase of 50-60% from the cumulative taxes charged under Jordan.[95]  The payment of taxes is openly discriminatory.  While Israeli settlers are exempt from paying arnona (municipal tax) for the first five years of their residency,[96] Palestinians are forced to pay full taxes despite the fact that Palestinians’ per capita income in Jerusalem is half that of Israelis. 


There are even some cases wherein Palestinian neighborhoods in the WJM borders pay full arnona tax and receive no municipal services whatsoever.  In the case of Bir'Ona and al Wallaje, which lie on the periphery of Beit Jala, the WJM obligates residents to pay full taxes even while the Palestinian residents receive no municipal services or have Jerusalem ID cards to "enter" Jerusalem. On 28 June 1998, Sharon Goldstein, the Advisor on Political Affairs for the Mayor of Jerusalem, requested that the council of Bir'Ona discuss the possibilities of establishing a municipal sanitation and sewage system in the Palestinian neighborhood.[97] When the Council asked why the garbage could go to Jerusalem while they themselves could not, the question was dismissed by the municipal officials as being a "political question."[98]


Palestinian unemployment has also increased in Jerusalem due to the recent influx of approximately 200,000 foreign non-Jewish immigrants. [99]  As at least one third of the Palestinians are employed in jobs classified as unskilled labor,[100] the influx of foreign workers has greatly marginalized Palestinian workers. Today, only half of Palestinian workers entitled to minimum wage actually get it.[101]


Despite the obvious disparity in per capita income and standard of living, Palestinians pay a disproportionate amount of taxes for the amount of services received. According to one WJM report, completed in 1994, Palestinian areas are only allocated between 5 and 12 percent of the WJM budget.[102]  Other WJM data indicate that the gap between East and West Jerusalem often exceeds 1,000 percent.  For example, there are 1,080 public parks in West Jerusalem, or one per every 447 Jewish residents and only 30 in East Jerusalem, or one per every 7,362 Palestinians.[103]  The same ratio is found in the length of streets, the number of cultural centers, etc.  Despite the obvious discrepancies, the WJM has done little to ameliorate the conditions of Palestinian Jerusalemites.


The reason behind this clear discrimination is that Israel continues to prioritize Jewish settlement expansion and development. Except for nominal improvements, Palestinian neighborhoods are deliberately overlooked in favor of initiatives that will consolidate Israeli sovereignty. On a list of municipal budget priorities for 1995, “enhancing Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel” is number one, while “expanding the social and physical services provided in East Jerusalem,” lies next to the bottom.[104]  More recently in a municipal council meeting, the proposal to invest NIS130 million for infrastructure development in Arab neighborhoods was put aside in favor of settlement expansion.[105]  The clear discrimination in public investment and the unwillingness of the Israeli government to change the status quo, has stagnated the life and development of Palestinians in Jerusalem.


Most importantly, Palestinian interests are not represented in the Israeli municipality due to their refusal to participate in Israeli municipal elections.  However, the Palestinian boycott arises not from a disbelief in the democratic process but from a refusal to acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy in Jerusalem.  Israeli attempts to create a system of dependency on the WJM[106] while inadequately supplying Palestinian neighborhoods with municipal services is an attempt to force Palestinians into a trap - participate in Israeli municipal elections as a sizeable minority and attempt to receive more municipal investments or continue to refuse Israeli sovereignty and see living conditions continue to deteriorate.  For Palestinians, whose participation rate in the last municipal elections was only 3.3%, the choice is clear.[107] 





ID Card Confiscations (1967 to 1999)


The following are official figures from the Israeli Interior Ministry.  These figures are admittedly low due to the following reasons:


                 ·         ID numbers issued to residents in East Jerusalem can no longer be distinguished from those given to inhabitants of West Jerusalem.

                 ·         In the past, ID card confiscation were registered in the appropriate personal file but not always in the computerized database.

                 ·         ID cards confiscated by virtue of their Jerusalem address proved inaccurate because the Ministry's address records are incomplete.[108]




# of IýDs


# of IDs































































1999 - up  




to 17th  Oct.



6,264[109] - app. 25,056 individuals*


* According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, the average Palestinian families in the West Bank consist of 5.7 persons.  Since ID card confiscation affects the entire family, a conservative family size of four is used.




Israeli Government Sanctioned Settlement Activity in

Municipal Jerusalem and Sub Districts - 1999



By-pass Roads Approved in 1999




Road No.

Road Area

Project No.













Al-Ram, Jaba’a, Hizma






Mt. Scopus, a- Tur

*Although not approved in 1999, the construction continues under Prime Minister Barak.


Settlement Structural Plans Approved in 1999





Plan No.

Planning Area




Giv’at Ze’ev


7.7 dunums






255 dunums

Al-Jib/Beit Ijza



Giv’at Ze’ev


472.6 dunums




Giv’at Ze’ev


41.3 dunums




Pisgat Ze'ev






New Settlement Outposts Established in 1999








No. of Caravans




Na name



Anata, Ein Al-quilt



Ze'et Ra'nan



Ras Karkar



Hill 660

Kifar Tibuoa





Hill 804




* Satellite Settlements are created on the periphery of existing settlements.  These outposts begin with small mobile caravans or water tanks and are eventually developed and incorporated into the larger mother settlement.



New Housing Units Approved in 1999




No. of Units


Pisgat Ze’ev



Giva’at  Ze’ev



Giva'at Benjamin

















Note: All numbers taken from Maps Center - Orient House


Copyright @ The Orient House. All Rights Reserved.

[1] See the Allon Plan, 23 July 1967.

[2] Israeli Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II), Art. XXXI(7), 28 September 1995.  See also Wye River Memorandum, Art. V, 23 October 1998.

[3] Approximately 80% of the Palestinian population were forcefully evicted from 531 villages in what became Israel proper.  See Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians and the Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 (Washington DC: Institute of Palestine Studies, 1992) p. 175.  Also see the Map of Palestine 1948, 50 Years After al Nakba, prepared by Salman abu Sitta (London: Palestine Return Center, 1998).

[4] Michael C. Hudson, “The Transformation of Jerusalem 1917-1987 AD,” Jerusalem in History, KJ Asali, ed. (New York: Olive Branch Press, 1990) p. 249.

 [5] This included the western neighborhoods of Jerusalem and four surrounding villages, as defined in the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (Partition Plan). See Janet Abu Lughod, “The Demographic Transformation of Palestine,” The Transformation of Palestine, Ibrahim Abu Lughod, ed. (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, 1971), p. 159.  Salman Abu Sitta arrives at the same numbers, Salman Abu Sitta, The Palestinian Nakba, 1948 (London: The Palestinian Return Center, 1998), pp 42 and 44.

[6] Ben Gurion, War Diary, Vol. 1 entry dated 7 February 1948, p. 210-11, cited in Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians (Washington DC: Institute of Palestinian Studies, 1993), p. 181.

[7] According to the last Jordanian census of 1961, some 60,000 Palestinians lived in the eastern part of Jerusalem.  Based solely on the natural rate of increase, the population would likely have reached as high as 70,000 by 1967.  During the Israeli census of 1967, only 44,000 Palestinians were registered as residing in Jerusalem.

[8] See Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians (Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993).

[9] See Concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Israel. 04/12/98. E/C. 12/1/Add.27, pp. 3,4.

[10]Survey cited from The Status of Jerusalem in the Eyes of Israeli Jews, (University of Maryland: Collaborative Study by the Guttman Institute for Applied Social Research and the Center for International and Security Studies), p. 10-13.

[11] See A Policy of Discrimination: Land Expropriation, Planning and Building in East Jerusalem, (Jerusalem: B’tselem, January 1997) p. 45.

[12] Ibid.

[13] “Quotas Imposed on Jerusalem Arabs”, Associated Press, June 18, 1998.

[14] Neither the PLO nor the Palestinian people recognize Israel's right to make or implement policy in occupied Jerusalem.

[15] Population growth figures from Maya Choshen from the Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies, quoted in  “Jerusalem’s Arab Population Growth Outpacing Jews,” Reuters, 26 July 1999.

[16] Israeli Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem 1998.

[17] Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, census taken in December 1997.  The Orient House estimates that over 220,000 Palestinian live in Jerusalem if the outlying areas are included.

[18] Estimate by Hebrew University Professor Sergio Della Pergola, cited in Abraham Rabanovich, “Jerusalem Umbrella”, Jerusalem Post, June 29, 1998

[19] Neither the PLO nor the Palestinian people recognize the legitimacy of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem.  Rather these illegal settlements are considered as the central obstacle to peace.

[20] Report on Israeli Settlements, (Washingtion DC: Foundation for Middle East Peace, May-June, 1999).

[21] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: The Map Center/Orient House, 1999).

[22]  "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: The Map Center/Orient House, 1999). The Applied Research Institute also reports that 11,000 dunums (2,750 acres) of Palestinain land were confiscated since the signing of the Wye River Memorandum on 23 October 1998 see "Unilateral Israeli Actions Since the Signing of the Wye River Agreement," (Jerusalem: ARIJ, 1999).

[23] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: The Map Center/Orient House, 1999).

[24] Although 11 settlements outposts were slated by Prime Minister Barak for removal, four of them are not inhabited and another four were transferred to other settlements.  See Geoffrey Aronson, "Barak Fails the Test of Hilltop Settlement Removal," Settlement Report II, (Washington DC: Foundation for Middle East Peace, November 1999), see also "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: Orient House, 1999).

[25] ibid.

[26] MIFTAH press release, 15 August 1999.

[27] October 1997 interview quoted in Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territory, (Washington DC: Foundation for Middle East Peace, July - August 1999).

[28] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: the Map Center/Orient House, 1999)

[29]  Jan de Jorg, " Israel's 'Greater Jerusalem' Engulfs the West Bank's Core," (Washington DC: A Special Report of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Summer 1997), p. 2,3.

[30] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: Map Center/Orient House, 1999). Arens decision was reported on May 27th, 1999 by Israeli media and confirmed by Arens advisor, Avi Kalstein.  The High Court decision concerned land claims from Palestinians in Abu Dis and 'Azeriya. On behalf of the State of Israel, Attn. Malchiel Blass argued that the expansion was politically motivated and could not be judged in the courts.

[31]  "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: Map Center/Orient House, 1999).

[32] "Reactivating the E1 Plan of the Maale Adumim Colony," EyeonPalestine, (Jerusalem: Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, 1999). Also See "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: the Map Center/Orient House, 1999)

[33] Population figures on Ma'ale Adumim web site (

[34] "Reactivating the E1 Plan of the Maale Adumim Colony," EyeonPalestine, (Jerusalem: Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, 1999).

[35] Employees at Burger attest that it is a normal franchise and has operated without interuption for over five years despite international protests, including those by the Arab League. Interview with Ma'ale Adumim Burger King Manager, 20 February 2000.

[36] Ma'ale Adumim Website (

[37] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: the Map Center/Orient House, 1999)

[38] Jan de Jong, " Israel's 'Greater Jerusalem' Engulfs the West Bank's Core," (Washington DC: A Special Report of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Summer 1997), p. 2

[39] "E1: the Last Piece in a 'Greater' Metropolitan Jerusalem," in Obstacles to Peace, (Jerusalem: Alternative Information Center, 1999).

[40] Jerusalem Watch Report, 1999

[41] '[Israeli] National Master Plan no. 35,' see Ha'aretz article, 21 January 1999.

 [42] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: The Map Center/Orient House, 1999).

[43]   "Report on Israeli Settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories," Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Report, 1999.

[44] In order to prevent Palestinians from gaining the same rights to properties in West Jerusalem, the Israeli government created the Law and Adminstration Ordinance (5727-1967)  to be only applicable to properties in areas conquered during the 1967 war and thus unapplicable for claims in the western areas of Jerusalem. See Uzi Benziman, “Israeli Policy in East Jerusalem After Reunification,” ed. Joel L. Kraemer, Jerusalem: Problems and Prospects, 1980; see also Sabri Jiryis, “Israeli Law as Regards Jerusalem,” ed. Hans Kochler, The Legal Aspects of the Palestine Problem, 1981.

[45] 70% includes Christian Waqf, Muslim Waqf and private Palestinian ownership, Orient House/Map Center. Also approximately 20,000 Palestinians abandoned property in West Jerusalem compared to the 1,700 Jews who fled East Jerusalem in 1948.  Numbers cited in Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: The Torn City, (Jerusalem: Israeli Typeset Inc., 1976) p. 154. 

[46] Irving Moskowitz who funds the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva with tax exempt US dollars, is also widely believed to have funded the opening of the Hasmonean Tunnels in 1996 which caused 76 deaths.

[47] Nadav Shragai, "Construction at Ras al Amud kicks into high gear," Ha'aretz, 6 July 1999

[48] Israeli Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, 1998.

[49] "Settlement Report for 1999," (Jerusalem: Orient House, 1999).

[50] Interview with Ateret Cohanim Public Relations spokesperson Miriam Hartog, 1 February 2000.

[51] Kol Ha'ir, 18 April 1999.

[52] Temple Mount Faithful website (

[53] The Western Wall Foundation, funded by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs has continued extensive tunneling around the Haram al-Sharif in attempts to uncover archeological sites from the First and Second Temple Eras. 

[54]Even during the conception of the Israeli State, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stated that the legal status of Arabs should be that of resident aliens as they could then be more easily “expelled” from the Jewish state. Protocol of the Jewish Agency Executive’s meeting of 2 November 1947, cited in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 28.

[55] See Paragraph 11 of the Citizenship Law (1952), paragraph 11 of the Entry into Israel Law (1952), and regulation 11 of the Entry into Israel Regulations (1974).

[56] Numbers solicited by Ha'aretz journalist Amira Hass, published by Badil Resource Center

[57] According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, the average Palestinian family in the West Bank consist of 5.7 persons.  Since ID card confiscation affects the entire family, a conservative family size of four is used.

[58] Between 1967 and 1995, an average of 110 ID cards were confiscated annually compared to an average of 865 ID cards between 1996 and 1998.

[59] The lawyers heading the case include Attn. Eliahu Abrams of Hamoked, Attn. Lea Tsemel, and Attn. Usama Halabi.

[60] Until 1994, the Israeli Interior Ministry had denied the right of Palestinian women to apply for the Israeli residency for their husband due to the fact that the Israeli government considered it customary for Arabic women to go to live in their husband’s house.    See, HCI 48/90, Renald Issa v. District Population Administration Office et al, Piskei Din 43(4) 574, 577.  Cited in The Quiet Deportation, Revocation of Residency of East Jerusalem Palestinians, (B’tselem: Jerusalem, April 1997), p. 9.

[61] Statements of the former Interior Minister’s are documented in articles in the Ha-Aretz newspaper of April 17, 1997 and Kol Ha-Ir of April 18, 1997

[62] "Official Figures on ID card Confiscation - January 1999 - 17 October 1999," Badil Resource Center, 3 December 1999.

[63] " Not if Israel Can Help It," Kol Hair, 17 September 1999.

[64] The five human rights groups include Hamoked, the Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, Alternative Information Center, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Defense for Children International.

[65] Although the ID card is not physically confiscated, the residency card is invalidated on the computer. See Danny Rubenstein, "Quiet Transfer Gets Even Quiter," Ha'aretz, 16 January 2000.

[66] See interview with Attn. Eliahu Abrams of Hamoked in Danny Rubenstein, "Quiet Transfer Gets Even Quiter," Ha'aretz, 16 January 2000.

[67] Brief policy statement issued by the State Attorney General's Office, December 1999.

[68]  The official number from the Israeli Interior Ministry indicates that at least 6,658 ID Cards were confiscated between 1967 and 1999.  The Interior Ministry admits that these figures are low, see Appendix 1.

[69] Jerusalem Times, 14 January 2000.

[70] Israeli Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, 1998.

[71] 1.1 in Jewish neighborhoods and 2.2 in Palestinian.  See A Policy of Discrimination: Land Expropriation, Planning and Building in East Jerusalem, (Jerusalem: B’Tselem, January 1997), p. 73. 

[72] Ibid., p. 289.

[73] The Current Planning Situation: A Survey of Municipal Plans and Planning Policy, (Jerusalem: IrShalem, 1998. Cited in Diary 2000 (Jerusalem: PASSIA, 2000), p. 289.

[74] Ibid., p. 289.

[75] Ibid., p. 289.

[76] LAW Annual Report, 1999 and B’tselem report “Injustice in the holy city,” December 1999, p. 6.

[77] "Law Enforcement against Jerusalem Arabs Only," American Committee on Jerusalem, 8 January 2000.

[78] Orient House/Press Office, 13 March 1999.

[79] All of the Waqf property in this historic quarter, including 135 houses and the al Buraq and Afdali Mosque were destroyed on 10 June 1967. See UN Assembly, Agenda Item 94 A/7057, 23 February 1968 for land registration. 

[80] Peace Now Report, May 1997.

[81] "Injustice in the Holy City," (Insert in the International Herald Tribune) B’tselem, December 1999, p. 6.

[82] Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, "Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or co-operative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations." See also Article 49; Hague Convention Art. 28,46, and 47.

[83] Israeli Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II), Art. XIX, September 28, 1995

[84] Human Rights Watch interview with representative of Hamoked, East Jerusalem, February 29, 1996.  Cited in Israel: Israel’s Closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch/Middle East, Vol. 8, No. 3, July 1996.

[85] UNSCO/World Bank Fact Sheet on Closure, 2 October 1997.

[86] UNSCO Report on Economic and Social Conditions in the West Bank and  Gaza Strip: Quarterly Report, Spring 1998 (Office of the Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories: Gaza).

[87] Ibid.

[88] In the Rashidiya School, the largest secondary school for boys, the number of pupils declined from approximately 1000 to 12 in 1968.  Similar results were seen in other schools.

[89] Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Educational Statistics, 1998/99.

[90] Interview with Samia Khouri, 13 July 1999.

[91] In the Taba Agreement responsibility over the former Jordanian education system was transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Since the schools in East Jerusalem are professionally linked with the former Jordanian Ministry of Education in Bethlehem, the PA acquired the de facto right to administer the East Jerusalem schools.

[92] Interview with Suad Qaddoumi, Palestinian Ministry of Education, Ramallah, 18 November 1999.

[93] Relly Sa’ar, “East Jerusalem Schools’ Sub-Standard,” Ha’aretz, August 10, 1999

[94] Socio-Economic and Health Profile of the Palestinian Arab Inhabitants of the Old City of Jerusalem, (Jerusalem: Society for Austro – Arab Relations, March 1996), p. vi.

[95] Anita Vitullo, “Israel’s Social Policy in Arab Jerusalem,” Jerusalem Quarterly File, (Jerusalem: Institute of Jerusalem Studies, Fall 1998), p. 15.

[96] Nathan Krystal, Urgent Issues of Palestinian Residency in Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Alternative Information Center, 1993).

[97] Connection to the Jerusalem sewage system will cost each household approximately NIS 11,000 (US $3,000).

[98] See "Two Palestinian Communities Threatened by Eviction," Artricle 74 , Badil Resource Center, No. 25. September 1998.

[99] Number includes non-Palestinian workers, most of whom were brought in after the imposition of the military closure on the West Bank.  See Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied in 1967, conducted by the Commission on Human Rights, (Economic and Social Council, 19 February 1998) p. 11

[100] Socio-economic and Health Profile of the Palestinian Arab Inhabitants of the Old City of Jerusalem, 1996, p. viii.

[101] Concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Israel. 04/12/98. E/C. 12/1/Add.27. p. 3.

[102] See Merhav Report, Cited in Amir Cheshin, Bill Hutman, Avi Melamed, Separate and Unequal, (Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1999) p. 24.

[103] Nadav Shragai, Ha'aretz, December 1999.

[104] See 1995 WJM Budget.

[105] Danny Rubenstein, “Investment in East Jerusalem? Ha!,” Ha’aretz, March 29, 1999.

[106] Dependency on WJM services was exacerbated when Israel dissolved all other alternative sources, such as the Palestinian run Jerusalem Electric Company, and by reconnecting water and sewage pipes, severed by Jordan in 1948, with West Jerusalem.

[107] "Palestinians boycott Israeli municipal elections," Article 74, (Bethlehem: Badil Resouce Center), December 1998.

[108] "Confiscation of Palestinian ID Cards 1967-1995," (

[109] All numbers taken from Badil Resource Center Press releases.