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The Civic Coalition for Defending

Palestinians Rights in Jerusalem

YEARS OF
O C C U PAT I O N
J e r u s a l e m

F i l e

December 2009

The Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinians Rights in Jerusalem


The Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (The Civic Coalition) is a nongovernmental and non-profit coalition of institutions, societies, associations and individuals dedicated
to the protection and promotion of Palestinian rights in Jerusalem.
Vision: To preserve the Palestinians presence in Jerusalem and ensure the Palestinian population is able
to effectively realize and exercise their fundamental human rights.
Mission: Mobilize efforts, capacities and resources to protect and promote the political, civil, economic,
social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem on the basis of international human rights
and humanitarian law.

Objectives:
1.

Promote greater awareness amongst the Palestinian population of Jerusalem of their fundamental
human rights as enshrined under international human rights and humanitarian law.

2.

Coordinate and facilitate advocacy efforts on both individual and collective human rights
issues of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.

3.

Provide legal services to the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

4.

Strengthen the organizational capacity of the Civic Coalition and its members to enable the
realization of the Civic Coalitions vision and objectives.

Civic Coalition Programs:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

The monitoring and documentation of violations of international human rights and


humanitarian law within Jerusalem.
Awareness raising program.
National and international legal advocacy.
Legal Aid clinic and legal services for Palestinian Jerusalemites
Capacity building workshops for human rights organizations in Jerusalem.
Development and operation of a database on human rights violations and statistics in
Jerusalem.

Acknowledgments
The Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem would like to thank the individual
authors, researchers, and member organizations of the Coalition for making the present study possible.
The Coalition thanks Zakaria Odeh, Nathan Derejko, and Karen Sanchez for their tireless editing and
insightful comments. The views expressed here are attributed exclusively to the authors.
The Civic Coalition would like to thank the Norwegian Representative Office for generously
funding the development of this publication and the Norwegian Peoples Aid for funding the
design and printing.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5
Map of Jerusalem Municipality....................................................................................................................................................... 8
Map of Occupied East Jerusalem................................................................................................................................................... 9
Map of the Annexation Wall in occupied East Jerusalem .....................................................................................10
Zoning Map of Occupied East Jerusalem ...........................................................................................................................11

CHAPTER ONE
Legal Status of the Population of East Jerusalem
since 1967 and the Implications of Israeli Annexation on their Civil and Social Rights ........13
Advocate Usama Halabi (LL.M)

CHAPTER TWO
Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem................................41
Khalil Tufakji

CHAPTER THREE
Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to
Residency in Jerusalem ........................................................................................................................................................................69
Dr. Nizar Ayyoub

CHAPTER FOUR
Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction
Israeli Occupation Authorities Campaign Against Palestinian Property in Jerusalem..............95
Yaqoub Odeh

CHAPTER FIVE
Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges ...................................................................................................... 109
Samir Jibril

CHAPTER SIX
The Minatory Chick Points and the Annexation Wall ........................................................................................ 121
Naila Jweiles and Azzam Abul-Suood

CHAPTER SEVEN
The Annexation Wall and International Law ............................................................................................................... 139
Nasser Arayes

INTRODUCTION

Introduction
The Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem is now in its 42nd year, and counting. This figure
represents more than double the amount of years that Israel, as a nation state, has existed without
being an occupying force in the Palestinian territories. Since 1967, Israel has imposed a military
and administrative occupation on the Palestinian people and has sought to annex, by military
force, the area in and around East Jerusalem. In fact, the international community regards
this annexation as unlawful and has refused to accept Israels attempt to unify Jerusalem as it
contradict international law and various Security Council resolutions. In particular, resolution
478 specifically declares this annexation a violation of international law and calls on all member
states to accept the councils decision to not recognize actions by Israel that seek to alter the
character and status of Jerusalem.
Despite its illegality, Israel has since 1967 imposed its own laws and urban planning policies in East
Jerusalem, forcefully integrating and controlling East Jerusalem and its Palestinian inhabitants.
However, given the demographic reality of a 35% Palestinian population in a city envisioned
by Israel as a united Jewish capital, Israel has felt the need to follow a policies which aim to
minimize and dominate the Palestinian population of Jerusalem, while at the same time annexing
as much land as possible. In realization of this goal, Israel has adopted policies which grossly
violate the Palestinians basic human rights and dignity as articulated by various international legal
instruments of which Israel is party.
The arduous 42 years of occupation have brought significant hardship and adversity to the
Palestinian people, as it has impacted every sector and tainted every aspect of day-to-day living.
This report aims to expose these policies and their impact on the community and draw attention to
the injustice that continues everyday the occupation ensues. This is done by providing a thorough
analysis by experts on distinct but interrelated policies such as: land confiscation, the effects of the
Annexation Wall, residency rights, forced displacement and home demolitions, and settlement
building, just to name a few.
The facts and figures provided in this report involve recent statistics and data collected on the
population of East Jerusalem. Every effort has been made to provide the most up-to-date and
accurate information. However, it must be noted that data collection in East Jerusalem is difficult,
and sometimes impossible, given the realities of the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Central
Bureau of Statistics is impeded from collecting data on East Jerusalem, and the Israeli authorities
do not reveal data they do collect for public use. While the Coalition stands behind the accuracy
of the information, small (and infrequent) discrepancy in the data is often the result of the various
difficulties organizations and academics face in collecting information.
It is the Civic Coalitions hope that by making this information available and providing detailed
analysis of these policies, governments, civil society, academics, and the international community
will increase their awareness regarding the unlawful discrimination and treatment against the
Palestinians, and take steps to enable the Palestinian people to put an end to the illegitimate
occupation. In drafting these reports, attention has been paid to highlighting specifically where
Israels policies and actions deviate from international law (often significantly), and Israels
commitments on the world stage to uphold the rule of law. Not only does the data reported
indicate a marked departure from those international commitments but also demonstrates a clear
disregard for customary international law, and international humanitarian law. As mentioned

above, despite the fact that the annexation of East Jerusalem is itself illegal under international law,
Israel further compounds the illegitimacy of the annexation by undertaking actions on the ground
which further violate the responsibilities and obligations of an occupying power as articulated by
the Fourth Geneva Convention. Such actions include the demolition of Palestinian homes, the
building of settlements for the sole use of the occupiers civilian population, and the building of
the Annexation Wall well within the boundaries of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Much of the report has been framed in legal and economic language in order that the audience
may take notice of the violations and be ready to put pressure in the specific areas where it will be
needed in order to bring about change and peace in this conflict. While it is true that this language
is a necessary and instrumental component in the realization of human rights, it is important to
remember that at the forefront of the facts and figures stands the human component and suffering
caused directly by the illegal occupation. Behind every action and policy deemed unlawful stands
a fragmented family waiting to be reunited, or displaced from their home. Behind the numbers
indicating economic decline due to the Annexation Wall stands a failed family business and along
with it the hopes of a generation to provide a better life for their children. The deprivation of
human dignity of the Palestinian people is the core of the occupation itself and in effect every
policy and state action works towards this deprivation.
This report highlights these elements to remind the readers of their shared responsibility to ensure
that people can indeed live in dignity, free from state imposed discrimination and harassment. The
recommendations included in the report serve as a call to anyone who truly has an interest in human
rights and dignity of the person. Further, it hopes to encourage the international community to
take up its obligation to hold states accountable for their actions, to take steps to foster peace, and
start to make good on its promise that the world will never again sit by as a people suffer gross
human rights violations at the hands of a state.
In The Legal Status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967 Advocate Usama Halabi
provides a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of both Israeli legislation and the judicial
system on the legal status and the rights afforded to the Palestinian residents of occupied East
Jerusalem. Halabi explores the scope and application of the 1952 Citizenship law and the 1952
Entry into Israel Law by carefully explaining the accompanying rights and duties of residency
versus citizenship in occupied East Jerusalem.
Khalil Tufakji provides a detailed historical and contemporary analysis of the Israeli occupation
authorities settlement enterprise throughout occupied East Jerusalem in his essay Land
Confiscation and Settlement Construction. With refined detail, Tufakji explains the process of
land confiscation, initial settlement development and continued settlement expansion within
occupied East Jerusalem. Tufakji also provides invaluable statistics on the number of dunums of
land confiscated from Palestinian residents, as well as the number of settlements and constituent
number of residential units within each settlement.
In Yaqoub Odehs Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction a detailed analysis of the Israeli
occupation authorities policy of judicial and administrative house demolitions throughout
occupied East Jerusalem is provided. Odehs elucidating analysis of the phenomenon of so-called
unlicensed construction reveals the impetus driving the acute housing deficiency currently facing
the Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem. Odeh also reveals disconcerting insight on
the building permit application process that Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem are
subjected to in order to secure a building permit for licensed construction.

INTRODUCTION

In Forced Displacement and Ethnic Cleansing: Israels Violations of the Palestinians Rights to
Residency in Jerusalem, Dr. Nizar Ayyoub explores the legal mechanisms employed by the Israeli
occupation authorities to deprive Palestinians of the right to residency in occupied East Jerusalem.
Throughout the course of his analysis, Ayyoub provides invaluable insight on the Nationality
and Entry to Israel Law of 2003, the prohibition on family unification, and the cancellation
of residency rights. Ayyoub concludes with a legal analysis of the consequences of these policies
to which he finds amount to the forcible displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian
population of occupied East Jerusalem.
In Education in Jerusalem: Current Situation and Future Challenges in the Absence of a
Unified Educational Authority Samir Jibril, Director of Education Department for the
Palestinian Authority in occupied East Jerusalem, explains the four distinct authorities that
supervise and regulate education within occupied East Jerusalem. Jibril provides a detailed
analysis of both the characteristics and shortcomings of the Islamic Waqf schools affiliated
with the Palestinian Authority, the Municipal Schools operated by the Israeli Municipality, the
Private Sector schools and the schools funded and operated by the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency. Jibril provides a much needed analysis of the challenges stemming from the
absence of a unified authority for education in occupied East Jerusalem and proposes refined
solutions to these current challenges.
In The Effects of the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem Naila Jweiles and
Azzam Abul-Suood provide a detailed analysis on the various economic sectors within occupied
East Jerusalem including commerce, retail/wholesale, industry, investment, employment and
tourism. Jweiles and Abul-Suood explore the prospects of occupied East Jerusalems ability to
cope with the current economic situation resulting from the construction of the Annexation
Wall, and offer possible solutions to the current economic reality of occupied East Jerusalem.
The Statistical analysis within this study provides grim insight to the economic future of
occupied East Jerusalem.
In The Annexation Wall and International Law Nasser Arayes pursues an in-depth legal
analysis of Isarels Annexation Wall from within the framework of public international law,
international humanitarian law, and international human rights law. Arayes begins with an
examination of the legal framework applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, and from
there determines both the civil and criminal liability of Israel, as an Occupying Power. Arayes
continues to provide a detailed analysis of the legal obligations of UN Member States, the
High Contracting Parties to the Four Geneva Convention, and the UN Security Council and
General Assembly as international bodies responsible for the maintenance of international peace
and security. In light of Israels continued non-compliance with the Advisory Opinion of the
International Court of Justice, Arayes provides a series of legal recourses and recommendations
to confront Israels disregard for International law.

INTRODUCTION

10

INTRODUCTION

11

CHAPTER ONE

Legal Status of the Population of East


Jerusalem since 1967 and the Implications
of Israeli Annexation on their Civil and
Social Rights

[1]

[1]
This paper is based mainly on Chapter Four of my book: The Legal Status of Jerusalem City and Its Arab Population, Institute
for Palestine Studies, Beirut, 1997, (Arabic), and Stage Five of my study: Israeli Laws and Judicial System as Tools for
Accomplishing Political Objectives, published by the Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinians Rights in Jerusalem, July
2007, as well as on a speech delivered in a press conference held by the Civic Coalition at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem
on 20 March 2008. Other published relevant information not contained in the above three sources were also added.

13

CHAPTER ONE

15

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since


1967 and the Implications of Israeli Annexation on
their Civil and Social Rights
[2]

Advocate Usama Halabi (LL.M)1

1. Introduction
Israel occupied East Jerusalem by means of force in June 1967. Hence, the relation between Israel
as the occupying Power and the residents of occupied Jerusalem is supposed to be governed by the
rules and provisions of the international law relevant to military occupation, namely International
Humanitarian Law (IHL) and its major component in this regard, the Fourth Geneva Convention
of 1949, as well as the Hague Regulations attached to the Hague Convention of 1907. Under
the relevant IHL, there is no difference between the status of East Jerusalem and that of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip: all have become occupied territories following the war of June 1967. Having
ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention, as the Occupying Power, Israel has the duty to respect
and ensure the rights of Jerusalems population as protected civilians. International law allows for
derogation from certain obligations only as far as is absolutely necessary to ensure the occupiers
ability to carry out its obligations towards the occupied Palestinian population on one side, and to
preserve the safety of its troops and satisfy its security needs on the other. Moreover, Israel as the
Occupying Power is obligated to respect the laws in force in the occupied territory as long as there
is no absolute deterrence inhibiting this[3].
International humanitarian law unequivocally prohibits Israels annexation of East Jerusalem and the
application of Israeli laws, administration and jurisdiction to the occupied city[4]. However, Israel
has disregarded its obligations under IHL, since 1967 and has dealt with Jerusalem differently from
the West Bank and Gaza Strip. From the outset of the occupation, Israel has attempted to annex
East Jerusalem to create a complete and united Capital of Israel, thus imposing Israeli law in the
occupied city and making it applicable to residents of occupied Jerusalem. This paper addresses
the repercussions of this decision on the legal status of the residents of Jerusalem and on their
civil, political and social rights, and explains the difference between citizenship and permanent
residency according to the Israeli law currently in force in Jerusalem. Further, the paper discusses

[2]

This paper is based mainly on Chapter Four of my book: The Legal Status of Jerusalem City and Its Arab Population, Institute for
Palestine Studies, Beirut, 1997, (Arabic), and Stage Five of my study: Israeli Laws and Judicial System as Tools for Accomplishing
Political Objectives, published by the Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinians Rights in Jerusalem, July 2007, as well as on a
speech delivered in a press conference held by the Civic Coalition at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem on 20 March 2008. Other
published relevant information not contained in the above three sources were also added.

[3]
[4]

Article 43 of the Hague Regulations attached to the Hague Convention of 1907.

Usama Halabi, The Legal Status of Jerusalem and Its Arab Population, Institute for Palestine Studies, Beirut, 1997, pp. 47-60 and references
cited in. See also: John Quigley, Old Jerusalem Whose to Govern, Denver J.Intt L& Policy, Vol. 20,No1, Fall 1990,p. 145, 160.

16

different continuous attempts by Israel to isolate the City of the West Bank and to weaken its
Palestinian population on the one hand, and to strengthen the Jewish presence, on the other.
Diagram 1 : The creation of the Israeli legal framework for annexation June 1967

2. Permanent Residency vs. Citizenship:


Despite the defacto annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel, the status of the population of East
Jerusalem was not changed to allow them to become citizens of the State to which their city
was annexed. The Israeli government allowed the population to keep holding their Jordanian
passports and decided, following a census, to grant them Israeli ID cards to indicate their status
as permanent residents in Israel. In order to explain the legal and practical differences between
citizenship and residency in Israel and their factual outcomes and repercussions on the lives and
rights of Palestinian Jerusalemites, we will elaborate on the relevant Israeli laws and regulations, as
well as decisions made by the Israeli High Court.

a. The 1952 Citizenship Law[5]


This law defines the conditions in order to obtain and forfeit Israeli citizenship. One can obtain
Israeli citizenship by any of the following means: First, based on the right to return (article 2);
second, based on residency in Israel (articles 3 and 3a); third, based on birth in Israel (article 4);
fourth, birth and residency in Israel (article 4a); fifth, naturalization (articles 5-8); and sixth, based
on the grant of citizenship by the interior minister in specific cases (article 9).

[5]

Published in the Compilation of Israels Laws, no.95, 1952, p. 146.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

17

The right to return is limited to Jews or members of their families (spouses, children, or childrenin-law) only. When the law was enacted on 1 April 1952 a combination of the following conditions
was required in order for residency in Israel to lead to citizenship:
1.

The concerned person have resided in Palestine prior to the establishment of the State of
Israel and holding a Palestinian passport or a certificate of Palestinian nationality.

2.

S/he should be registered as of 1 May 1952 as a resident in the Israeli Populations Registry.

3.

S/he was living in Israel as of the date, when the law entered into force, i.e., on 14 July 1952.

4.

S/he has been living in Israel, or in an area that has become part thereof after it was
established, or has entered Israel legally in the period between the establishment of the State
of Israel (15 May 1948) and the date when the law entered into force (14 July 1952).

Since the above mentioned conditions, particularly the fourth one, have prevented a significant
portion of the Palestinian population in Israel from obtaining Israeli citizenship, the Law was
amended in 1980 and Article 3(a) was added, stipulating that five conditions should be fulfilled
in order for the concerned person to obtain Israeli citizenship based on hi/her residency in Israel:
1.

S/he should not have obtained Israeli citizenship according to another article in the law.

2.

S/he has been a national of Palestine the Land of Israel prior to the establishment of the
State of Israel.

3.

S/he was living in Israel and registered in the Populations Registry on 14 July 1952 (date,
when the Citizenship Law entered into force).

4.

S/he was living in Israel and registered in the Population Registry on the date when the
law was amended.

5.

S/he is not a national of any of states identified in Article 2(a) of the Prevention of
Infiltration Law (offences and jurisdiction) of 1954, which are: Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan,
Iraq and Yemen, and of any part of the Land of Israel outside the boundaries of the State
of Israel, i.e., the West Bank and Gaza Strip[6].

These five conditions need to be present together in any Palestinian born prior to the establishment
of the State of Israel in order to be eligible for Israeli citizenship. For those Palestinians born after
its establishment; they should be an offspring of a person that meets the first three conditions[7].
These conditions, however, prevent Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from obtaining Israeli
citizenship on the basis of their residency status, since their residency in Israel started on June
1967 following the occupation of Jerusalem and Israels decision to apply its laws, jurisdiction and
administration to the City and to grant its residents, covered by the census, Israeli ID cards[8].

[6]

Article 3A, Paragraph (a)(1)-(5) of the Citizenship Law.

[7]

Art. 3A(b) of the Citizenship Law.

[8]

See : Diagram 1. As shall be seen below, the Entry to Israel Law addresses the issue of entry to, and residency within Israel
by non-citizens, which includes the issue of permanent residency

18

Similar to residency, birth in Israel does not, per se, lead to obtaining Israeli citizenship, as an
additional condition is required; at least one parent has to be an Israeli citizen. Birth and residency
in Israel can be an adequate basis for obtaining Israeli citizenship for those born following the
establishment of the State of Israel and who have never possessed another nationality and if such
person applies to the Interior Ministry after reaching the age of 18 and before reaching the age of
21, provided that at the time of the application s/he has been living in Israel for five consecutive
years[9]. However, even if these conditions are met by the concerned individual, the interior minister
has the power to reject the application if this person has been convicted in a security case or has
been sentenced to five years or more of imprisonment[10].
Apparently, naturalization is theoretically the main and often the only, although not unconditional,
possibility for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to obtain Israeli citizenship. Article 5 of
the Citizenship Law which deals with obtaining citizenship through naturalization, requires the
following six cumulative conditions in the concerned individual, unless exempted from some by
the interior minister:
1.

The applicant should be present in Israel.

2.

The applicant should have been living in Israel for three years within the five years preceding
the application.

3.

The applicant has the right to permanent residency in Israel.

4.

The applicant has settled in Israel or intends to do so.

5.

S/he is moderately acquainted with Hebrew language.

6.

The applicant should renounce his/her previous nationality or prove that s/he will not
remain a foreign national upon becoming an Israeli citizen.

Nevertheless, meeting the above six conditions does not mean an individual will automatically
obtain Israeli citizenship as the Interior Minister still has the discretion to grant it or to reject the
application, and if granted, the applicant must state the following: I affirm that I will be a loyal
citizen of the State of Israel.
Based on the above, if a resident of East Jerusalem wishes to obtain Israeli citizenship by means of
naturalization, s/he should have a permanent residency in Jerusalem, moderately know Hebrew
and has to, unless exempted, renounce their Jordanian citizenship. Furthermore, it should also be
noted, that in practice when some Jerusalem residents applied for Israeli citizenship, they were
obliged to give up their Jordanian passports. There is no reliable, let alone official, figure for
the number of Palestinian Jerusalemites who obtained Israeli nationality and consequently an
Israeli passport[11]. By the end of 2005, the Central Bureau of Statistics estimated that 93% of the
Arab residents of Jerusalem have the status of permanent residents (including only 3% who
obtained this status through family unification), 5% of the Arab residents have the status of

[9]
[10]
[11]

Art. 4A(a) of the Citizenship Law.


Art. 4A(b) of the Citizenship Law

Becoming an Israeli citizen and obtaining an Israeli passport, is conditioned upon declaring loyalty to the state of Israel,
and this is conceived by the mass majority of Palestinian as betraying the Palestinian cause and deserting to the enemy side, and
disclosing such a fact is very embarrassing for those who apply. Thus, neither the applicants nor Israel are willing to disclose
the exact figure.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

19

citizen (including 12%, who obtained Israeli citizenship through naturalization) and 2% with
an unidentified status.[12]
Once a person becomes an Israeli citizen, s/he will not forfeit the Israeli citizenship unless s/he
renounces it in writing, with the approval of the Interior Minister, or it is cancelled as per few
cases that are identified by the Citizenship Law as amended on28 July 2008[13]. Such cases include;
first, if the citizenship is obtained on the basis of falsified information, the Minister of Interior
is authorized within three years to cancel it.[14] Second, an administrative court may cancel the
citizenship of an Israeli citizen if s/he betrays the State of Israel[15] e.g. commits an act of terror
as defined in the Prevention of Funding of Terror, 2005 or is active in a terrorist group as defined
in the same Law[16] , or if s/he commits an act that implies treason against the State of Israel[17],
or if s/he obtains citizenship or permanent residency of any state or territory of those listed in
the supplement to the Law which include: Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq,
Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza Strip.[18]

b. The 1952 Entry to Israel Law[19]:


While the Citizenship Law covers the rules and provisions related to citizenship in Israel, the Entry
to Israel Law addresses the issue of entry to, and residency within Israel by non-citizens, which
includes the issue of permanent residency. The entry of non-citizens to Israel and their stay in the
country is possible by obtaining an oleh (a Jewish immigrant) visa or an entry visa under this
Law. The Interior Minister has the power to issue entry visas and stay permits for periods ranging
between five days and three years as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.

A visa and a stay-transit permit up to five days


A visa and a stay-visit permit up to three months
A visa and a temporary residency permit up to three years
A visa and a permanent residency permit[20]

The law bestows upon the minister, the power to extend the visit permit from time to time,
provided that the total extension periods do not exceed two years[21]. The minister can also extend
the temporary residency permit, provided that each extension does not exceed two years[22]. In
regards to the permanent residency permit, there are no provisions in the Entry to Israel Law as
to the conditions leading to obtaining such a permit, or when it would cease to be in effect. The
issue of granting a permit for permanent residency in Israel is actually left to the discretion of the

[12]

A summary of statistics related to Jerusalem residents was published under the title Jerusalem Fortieth Anniversary:
Overwhelmed by Dreams on the site: http://www.nfc.co.il/.

[13]

The Citizenship Law (Amendment No.9), 2008, published in the Compilation of Laws of Israel, No.2176 (8/8/2008), p. 810.

[14]

Article 11 (a) of the Citizenship Law.

[15]

Article 11 (b) of the Citizenship Law

[16]

Article 11 (b) (2) (a) of the Citizenship Law

[17]

Article 11 (b) (2) (b) of the Citizenship Law

[18]

Article 11 (b) (2) (c) of the Citizenship Law

[19]

Published in the Israeli Compilation of Laws, 1952, No. 111, p. 354.

[20]

Article 2 of the Entry to Israel Law .

[21]

Article 3(2) of the Entry to Israel Law .

[22]

Article 3(3) of the Entry to Israel Law .

20

Interior Minister, who does not grant such permits without obtaining a recommendation by the
security apparatuses, usually the Shabak. Often, such applications are made by a spouse holding
an Israel ID card for family unification with the other spouse, who does not hold such ID.
Until few years back, procedural guidelines adopted by the Interior Ministry in this regard have
not been declared.[23] All that was declared to the public in this regard and stated by the Ministry
is that the approval of family unification applications would require the following conditions:
First, the couple is bound by an official marriage contract. Second, the couple lives in Jerusalem
and their address is in Jerusalem. Third, there is no security or criminal deterrence in the person
to be granted the residency status[24]. Yet, as we shall see below, the Entry to Israel Law, together
with the Citizenship Law, have been amended several times since 2003, and more conditions and
obstacles in the way of Palestinians seeking family unification, have been added including that an
application is not processed if the non Israeli spouse is under the age of 25 if female and under
35 if male[25].
Applicants of family unification often complain about the long period starting from the date of
application up until a decision is issued to reject or accept the application, which may last for
several months. In the past, based on the experience of the present writer, this time period usually
exceeded a year and has even reached two years. In addition to family unification, permanent
residency in Jerusalem can also be obtained on the basis of birth in Israel/Jerusalem provided that
the child is born to a parent residing in Jerusalem[26]. In the latter case, child registration is usually
not problematic if both parents, or at least the father has residency status in Jerusalem and is
holding an Israeli ID card. However, if the mother is the holder of the Israeli ID card and wishes
to register her child in her ID card and the Israeli residents registry, she has to prove that the child
is living with her and that the center of her and her childs life is in Jerusalem, and not in the West
Bank or Gaza Strip. This discrimination between men and women is attributed to the assumption
adopted by the secondary legislator (i.e. the Interior Ministry) that fathers in Arab society are the
heads of their households and that wives and children are dependent on the husband-father and
live in the place he chooses to live in[27].
For not a clear reason, the Entry to Israel Law is silent as to the question when does permanent
residency expire and the conditions defining when a permanent residency permit expires are
set in a secondary legislation : the 1974 Entry to Israel Regulations.. Article 11(c) of these
regulations provides that a permanent residency permit expires if a condition made by the Minster
for maintaining the permits effect is not met, or if a change is made to the visa associated with
the permit by an unauthorized person, or if the permit holder leaves Israel and settles in another
country. Article 11A of Regulations defines settling in another country, as when a permanent
resident either:

[23]

Presently, the procedural guidelines related to applications for family unification and child registration(detailing the
different steps and numerous documents to be submitted to the interior minister) can be found on the Ministrys website at:
http://www.moin.gov.il.

[24]

For years, these conditions were not officially published but known to the writer through his experience in representing
clients applying for family unification. Nowadays, the conditions to be fulfilled and document to present in this regard are
published on the Ministry website.

[25]

See: section 4 of this paper.

[26]

Article12 of the Entry into Israel Regulation,1974.

[27]

This assumption was clearly stated in a letter of 1986 signed by Mr.Yaari, the then legal advisor to the Ministry of Interior,
sent to the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

1.
2.
3.

21

stays outside Israels borders for at least 7 years,


receives a permanent residency permit in another state, or
becomes a national of another state by means of naturalization.

The Israeli government considers the residents of East Jerusalem as permanent residents of the
State of Israel and thus are subjected to the aforementioned provisions. The Israeli High Court has
also endorsed this position in the High Court case 282/88 Mubarak Awad vs. Prime Minister and
others[28], the court decided the following:
In summary: the States jurisdiction and administration apply to East Jerusalem. Based
on this applicability, the entry to Israel law also applies to East Jerusalem. Therefore,
the stay of East Jerusalem residents, who have not been naturalized, is possible by a
residency permit. Every person covered by the census conducted in 1967 is regarded as
holding a permanent residency permit.[29].
The Court turned down the claim that the Entry to Israel Law does not apply to East Jerusalem
residents because it addresses the issue of consensual entry to Israel, while the Jerusalemites
occupied by Israel did not enter to Israel by their will, but rather Israel entered into their
place and lives. As demonstrated above, the Court resorted to an assumption that Jerusalem
residents covered by the census conducted in June 1967 are regarded as if they were granted
permits of permanent residency in Israel. The Court also rejected the claim raised by the lawyers
of the appellant (Mr. Awad) that, by the application of the Israeli jurisdiction, authority and
administration to East Jerusalem, its residents have gained an Israeli quasi-citizenship or
constitutional residency in the city, and therefore, the Interior Ministry does not have the
power to cancel such status and to deport the appellant from Israel on the pretext that he has
settled in another state[30]. The Court also rejected the claim that Article 11A of the Entry to
Israel Regulations is unlawful and beyond the powers of the Interior Ministry because it defines
conditions and circumstances when a permanent residency in Israel expires, despite the fact that
the law under which they were issued does not contain any instructions in this regard[31]. The
Court decided that a permanent resident may forfeit his/her residency in any of the cases stated
in aforementioned Article 11A and added that the permanent residency permit may expire,
and cease to be in effect automatically and without the need for issuing an official decision of
cancellation if the specific conditions of the case reveal that permanent residency in Israel, on
which the effect of the permit depends, is not available any more[32]. In each of these cases, the
Interior Minister may issue an order to deport the concerned person under Article 13 of the
Entry into Israel Law on the pretext of illegal stay in the country. In its decision, the Court
explained that no importance is given to the feelings of the concerned person towards Jerusalem
or to the fact that s/he keeps longing to return to Jerusalem while settling abroad. According to
the Court, what matters is the fact that s/he has moved to settle outside the borders of Israel[33].
Based on the above, the court reached a decision the appellant Awad has forfeited his right to
residency in Israel as he left Jerusalem to the United States, where he settled, got married and

[28]

Israeli High Court Decisions, Vol. 42 (2), p. 424.

[29]

Ibid, p. 431.

[30]

Ibid, p. 428.

[31]

Ibid, p. 432.

[32]

Ibid, p.433.

[33]

Ibid.

22

obtained the U.S. nationality and a U.S. passport. Therefore, the court endorsed the Interior
Ministers decision ordering to deport him from Israel[34].
In the High Court case No. 7023/94 Fathiya Shikaki vs. Interior Minister[35], the Court reaffirmed
the position taken in Mubarak Awad regarding the status of Jerusalem residents as permanent
residents in Israel and the loss of residency rights by the virtue of settling outside Jerusalem (i.e.
outside Israel). In his review of the details of the case, Justice Goldberg said, The appellant was
covered by the census of 1967 as a resident of East Jerusalem and got an Israeli ID card, but she
did not naturalize [request nationality]. Therefore, her situation is that of holding a permanent
residency permit under the 1952 Entry to Israel Law[36]. When the court found that the appellant
was married in 1985 to Fathi Shikaki, a resident of Gaza Strip and then leader of the Islamic
Jihad, and that she moved to live with her husband upon his deportation in 1988, giving birth to
their three children in Syria, and that she came back to Jerusalem only after six years as a visitor,
the court decided that her permanent residency permit has expired automatically and that the
appellant has forfeited her right to permanent residency in Israel[37]. Therefore, Ms. Shikaki was
forced to leave Jerusalem. In its decision, the court explained that the three categories stated in
Article 11A of the Entry to Israel law in regard to settling in another country is not an exhaustive
list and the fact that the concerned person is settled in another country, and thus has forfeited his/
her permanent residency in Israel, can be judged from facts and circumstances other than those
stated in Article 11A[38].
The above two decisions by the Israeli High Court have had serious implications for the residents
of East Jerusalem, mainly enabling the Israeli Interior Ministry to revoke their residency in cases
when their stay outside the borders of Israel has not exceeded seven years. Following the court
decision in Shikaki, the Interior Ministry started to gradually confiscate the Israeli ID cards from
Jerusalemite women married to Jordanians, then it started to revoke the ID cards of male and
female residents of East Jerusalem claiming that the center of their lives has moved to outside
Israel, although they have been leaving under the so-called policy of open bridges adopted by
the Israeli government since 1967 and according to exit permits valid for three years and have
been returning prior to the expiration of these permits[39]. In mid nineties, Interior ministry staff
in East Jerusalem office confiscated a large number of ID cards from residents applying to renew
their cards based on instructions from Israeli staff at Allenby Bridge[40]. This was part of a policy
adopted by the Interior Ministry aiming at revoking the right of permanent residency of some
thousands of Jerusalemites, using the pretext of their residence outside the city (outside Israel).
Although complete data is not available, published figures indicate that the residency right was
revoked for at least 689 Jerusalemites in 1996, for 606 in 1997, for 788 in 1998 and for 394 in
1999. [41]As these steps, in our opinion, indicated a change in the policy adopted by the ministry
towards this particular population group, the ministry was supposed to announce this change in

[34]

Ibid.

[35]

Not yet (officially) published. The decision can be found on the following website: www.pador.co.il.

[36]

Ibid.

[37]

Ibid.

[38]

Ibid.

[39]

Halabi, Usama, The Legal Status of Jerusalem City and Its Arab Population, Institute for Palestine Studies, Beirut, 1997.,p.96.,

[40]

Ibid.

[41]

Halabi, Usama, Israeli Laws and Judicial System as Tools for Accomplishing Political Objectives, published by the Civic Coalition for

Defending the Palestinians Rights in Jerusalem, Jerusalem, July 2007, p.15.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

23

the policy in public and to allow those who may be affected by this change a chance to adapt and/
or take appropriate decisions in light of this change. However, backed by the authority of the High
Court, in the case 7952/96 Fares Bustani vs. Interior Ministry[42], the Ministry continued to revoke
ID cards. This was the first case where the court approved the revocation of the residency status of
a Jerusalemite on the basis of his work and residency in Jordan (whereas the appellant is a holder of
a Jordanian passport similar to thousands of Jerusalemites, a fact the Israeli Interior Ministry was
fully aware of ). The appellant did not benefit from the fact that his exit to Amman and entry to
Jerusalem through Allenby Bridge were by a valid exit permit. The court decided that the appellant
has moved the center of his life from Jerusalem to Amman and that his summer visits, even if on
an annual basis, did not change this fact[43].
Israeli considers residency in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as residency in another country or
residency outside Israels borders and therefore, Jerusalemites who move to live in these areas
are vulnerable to losing their right to residency status in Jerusalem. In the past, living outside the
expanded municipal boundaries of Jerusalem has led Jerusalemites to lose their social security
benefits, such as allowances for children born to the family after they have moved out of Jerusalem,
but not to lose the residency status and the Israeli ID card. However, in 1995 the Israeli Interior
Ministry started to revoke the Israeli ID cards of Jerusalemite women married to West Banker
men and living with their husbands outside the Israeli defined Jerusalem municipal boundaries on
the pretext that they have forfeited their right to permanent residency in Jerusalem[44]. As already
mentioned, revocation of Jerusalemites ID cards continued at a higher pace in 1996 also on the
basis of their residency in, and moving the center of their lives to the territories (i.e. the West
Bank, including areas that have not been transferred to the control of the Palestinian Authority).
This Israeli position, aimed at reducing the number of Palestinians in Jerusalem has continued
through to the present time and has become increasingly aggressive since the start of the third
millennium, as will be explained later in this document[45].
Finally, It should be noted that the Israeli High Court, in a decision made on 20 September 2007,
reaffirmed its decision in Shikaki and reaffirmed once again the validity of its decision in Mubarak
Awads case[46]. In its decision in Administrative Appeal No. 5829/05 Saleh Dary and others vs. the
Interior Ministry[47], the Court referred to Justice Baracks opinion in Awads case and added, the
decision that East Jerusalem population are treated as if they have obtained a permanent residency
permit under the Entry to Israel Law shall naturally imply that the cancellation of this status is
made under the arrangement stipulated in this law and the regulations issued hereunder.[48] The
Court later quoted Justice Barack stating that the permanent residency is in essence a reality of
life. When the permit [of permanent residency] is granted, it shall give a legal quality to this reality.
If the reality is gone, the permit shall have no meaning and shall be revoked automatically.[49]

[42]

Not yet (officially) published. The decision can be found on the following website: www.pador.co.il. This case was handled
by the present writer.

[43]

Ibid, paragraph 8 of the Courts decision.

[44]

Halabi, Usama, The Legal Status of Jerusalem City and Its Arab Population ,p.97.

[45]

See section 4 of this paper.

[46]

Supra, note 27.

[47]

Not yet (officially) published. The decision can be found on the following website : www.pador.co.il.

[48]

Ibid, paragraph 7 of the decision.

[49]

Ibid.

24

3. Rights and Duties Attached to Citizenship and Residency


in Israel:
After examining the difference between citizenship and residency in Israel in terms of the conditions
for obtaining each and those leading to forfeiting each, we will elaborate on the rights and duties
attached to both. Particular attention will be paid to implications of permanent residency in East
Jerusalem on the rights and duties of the Arab population of the city in certain aspects.

a) Voting and Nomination Rights:


The right to vote for and be nominated to the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) is limited to Israeli
citizens[50], whereas the law allows permanent residents to participate in the elections to the local
authorities both as voters and candidates[51]. Therefore, the right of East Jerusalems population
as permanent residents in Israel is limited to the participation in the elections to Jerusalem
municipality. The population of the occupied Jerusalem have participated in these elections in the
past to varying degrees: In the years 1969, 1978 and 1983, the proportion of those participating in
the elections ranged between 15-20%, which declined in 1989 to less than 3% and then increased
again in 1993 elections to 7% of those with the right to vote[52]. The low proportion of Jerusalemites
participating in the municipal elections has not changed dramatically.
The low proportion of those participating is an indicator that the majority of the Palestinian
population is against the Israeli presence in the city, considering the participation in the elections
of Jerusalem municipality a behavior that can be interpreted as giving legitimacy to Israels decision
to absolve the Arab municipality of Jerusalem and annex East Jerusalem to Israel. The participation
in the elections to the unified municipality has adverse implications for the Palestinian legal and
political struggle over Jerusalem as it feeds into the official Israeli position claiming that Jerusalem
is one city with one municipality and the capital of one state, Israel.

b) The Right to Obtain an Israeli Passport:


The 1952 Passports Law[53] states that the right to obtain a passport is limited to Israeli citizens[54]. A
citizen shall use his/her Israeli passport in exiting and entering Israel even if s/he has more than one
nationality. Non-citizens residing in Israel or those with an unidentified or questionable nationality
shall obtain a travel document (Laissez Passer) that they can use in leaving and returning to Israel.
While a passport is valid for ten years[55], a travel document is valid for only one year, and renewable
only for another year. Since the population of East Jerusalem is considered as permanent residents
in Israel, rather than citizen, they do not have the right to obtain an Israeli passport, although are
eligible for a travel document. Applications to obtain or extend the validity of a passport or travel
documents can be made at the Interior Ministry offices inside Israel or in Israeli consulates and
embassies abroad.

[50]

Article 6 of Basic Law: the Knesset.

[51]

Article 7 of Local Authorities (Elections), 1965.

[52]

Halabi, Usama, Jerusalem Arab Municipality, PASSIA, Jerusalem, 1994, p. 35.(Arabic)

[53]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, 1952, p. 260.

[54]

Article 2(a) of the Passports Law.

[55]

Article 4(a) of the Passport Law.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

25

c) Exit From and Entry to Israel:


Every Israeli citizen staying abroad has the right to enter Israel. This right however is NOT granted
to non-citizens. For visitors and residents, including permanent residents, entry and stay in Israel
requires obtaining an entry visa and a residency permit according to the Entry to Israel Law and
regulations issued hereunder. Exit from Israel is the right of every one, but this right may be
restricted in certain cases, such as when there is a basis to suspect that the exit of a certain person,
whether a citizen or a resident, may interfere with the security of the state[56].
Entry to and exit from Israel takes place through border crossings identified by law, including,
inter alia, Ben Gurion Airport, Dov Airport (Tel-Aviv), Haifa port, Eilat port, Damia Bridge and
Allenby (King Hussein) Bridge and Sheikh Hussein (Maoz) Bridge known also as the Jordanian
River Crossing[57] . Residents of East Jerusalem usually leave through Ben Gurion Airport by
using the travel document (Laissez Passer) or through Allenby or Damia Bridge by using their
Jordanian passports and an exit permit valid for three years. In many cases, during the eighties
and nineties, the Interior Ministry, in cooperation with the Bridges Authority affiliated to the Civil
Administration and the Military Administration, have banned Jerusalem residents from traveling
abroad for security reasons or allow their travel on a condition that they are of certain age and stay
abroad for at least nine months. The bridges remained under the Israeli control even in the period
following the Declaration of Principles agreement. Although there is an agreed upon Palestinian
presence in certain sites, the final decision of letting in and out remains an Israeli decision[58].

d) Employment in the State Service:


Israeli citizenship is a prerequisite for employment in the state service in accordance with Article
16 of the State Service (appointments) Law of 1959[59] which states that only Israeli citizens shall
be appointed in state service positions. Any individual renouncing his/her nationality shall be
considered as resigning from his/her position. There are however, exceptions to this rule: Article 40
of the same law allows appointing a person in state service by a special contract if s/he meets other
conditions defined by the law. Additionally, Article 23 of the Judicial and Administrative Settlements
(combined text) Law of 1970 granted the Prime Minister the power to issue regulations to exempt
a person living in a territory where Israeli law is applied from the condition of nationality in order
to be appointed as a public servant. Apparently, these exceptions permit the Israeli government
to appoint residents of East Jerusalem in governmental institutions and departments, such as
the social security agency and population registration department of the Interior Ministry. Those
residents of East Jerusalem who obtained the Israeli citizenship and became Israeli citizens do not
require the exceptions. Other than working in State service, Israeli law does not require Israeli
citizenship for employment.

[56]

Article 6 of the Emergency Regulations (Exit to Abroad), 1948. See also: H.C. 488/85 Daher vs. Minister of Interior,
Compilation of High Court Decisions, Vol.40(2),p. 701.

[57]

See: Entry to Israel (Border Terminals) Order, 1987.

[58]

Since November 1994, and according to the Oslo Agreement (and its annexes), persons holding Israeli and foreign passports
enter into Israel from Jordan through Shekh Hussein Bridge where there is no Palestinian presence. On the other bridges,
however, there is a Palestinian presence, but, the final decision to allow entrance into Israel or into the Palestinian Authority
Area is Israels.
[59]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws,1959, p. 86

26

e) Taxes:
With regard to taxes, Israeli law does not differentiate between an Israeli citizen and a permanent
resident. Income tax is due from any income generated in Israel whether by a citizen, permanent
resident or even a foreigner. Israel has imposed income tax on the residents of East Jerusalem and
opened a branch for the tax authority in the city. The Value Added Tax (VAT) is also due from
dealers, craftsmen and service providers such as lawyers, engineers, physicians, etc. working
in East Jerusalem[60]. In addition, and in view of the application of Israeli law to Jerusalem,
taxes levied on properties have also been imposed on the population of the City, such as the
environmental improvement tax[61] and the property tax[62]. Similar to other municipal
councils, Jerusalem municipality imposes a property tax known as Arnona on houses and
businesses. This tax is levied from the population to enable the municipality to provide services
to the citys residents. However, as to Arnona on properties used for living, it is estimated at
different rates according to the area and where the structure is located. The city is divided to
residential areas A, residential areas B and then residential areas C. The tax rate in each one of
these areas is different than the two others but the same rates are used for the population of
East and West Jerusalem. This means that residents of area A or B in West Jerusalem pay per sq.
meter the same amount paid by residents of area A or B in East Jerusalem, although the services
offered by the municipality in East Jerusalem is not at the same level as those offered to West
Jerusalem and the development, recreation and social services enjoyed by Jewish neighborhoods
is totally absent in most Arab neighborhoods[63]. Similarly, shops and hotels are required to pay
the same rates of the Arnona tax (which is much higher than that imposed on houses) in East
and West Jerusalem although the resources and revenues of such businesses in East Jerusalem
are much less than those in the West Jerusalem.

f) Zoning and Building:


The 1965 Zoning and Building Law[64] does not differentiate between citizens and residents.
Conditions required for any person wishing to construct a building, including the requirement to
issue a building license, apply to all people in the city. However, the discriminatory policy adopted
by the Israeli Government and the Jerusalem municipality, in terms of zoning and building in
Jerusalem has caused a complicated housing crisis in Arab neighborhoods, forcing a large number
of East Jerusalem residents to meet their need for housing space in villages and suburbs around
Jerusalem. This policy has two main features. The first is the intensive confiscation of Arab lands
that took place between the years1968 -1970 and later in 1980, in 1982 and in 1992, for the
establishment of Jewish settlements, leading to a shortage in lands available for Arab building and
to the development of the Jewish community in East Jerusalem[65]. For example, by the end of

[60]

Imposed in accordance with Value Added Tax Law, 1976, Published in Compilation of Israeli Laws, 1976, p.52.

[61]

Imposed in accordance with Land Improvement Tax Law, 1963, Published in Compilation of Israeli Laws, No. 405, 1963, p.156.

[62]

Imposed in accordance with Property Tax and Compensation Fund Law, 1961, Published in Compilation of Israeli Laws,
No. 337, 1961, p.100.

[63]

For example, there are 67 parks in west Jerusalem and 3 in east Jerusalem, and in most places there are no pavements for
pedestrians to use.

[64]
[65]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, No.467 (12-8-1965), 1965, p.307.

Between the years1968 and 1970, not less than 16,991 dunams were confiscated for public use and used in fact to built
the following Jewish settlements: French Hill, Ramat Eshkol, Ramot, Gilo, Talpiot Mizrah,Neve Yaakov, Maalot Dafna and
Atarot. In 1980 another 4400 dunams were confiscated and used to build Pisgat Zeev settlement. See: Halabi Usama, The Legal
Status of Jerusalem and its Arab Population, p. 21-22 and references cited in

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

27

1970, Israel had confiscated not less than 16, 991 dunams of Arab land in the de-facto annexed
area for public purposes under the 1943 Land (Acquisition for Public Purposes) Ordinance,
as demonstrated in diagram 2 below.
Diagram 2 Confiscation of land for public purposes 1968-1970

Moreover, as of May 1995, approximately 38,000 housing units were built for the Jewish population
on the 23,378 dunams of Arab lands confiscated for public purposes[66]. The second feature of
the Israeli discriminatory policy is the neglect of the needs of the Arab population. Building and
development plans have been focusing mainly on finding solutions and meeting the needs for the
Jewish community. With the exception of small housing projects, such as Nusseibeh housing
project in Beit Hanina, which includes 400 housing units, and another project in Wadi Al-Joz with

[66]

A Policy of Discrimination: Land Confiscation and planning and Building in East Jerusalem, a Report by BTselem,
Jerusalem, 1995, pp. 51-52 (Hebrew).

28

24 housing units, Jerusalem Municipality and the Housing Ministry have not helped in establishing
housing projects within the boundaries of East Jerusalem for the Arab population[67]. When Jerusalem
Municipality developed a proposed zoning scheme for Shufat and Beit Hanina areas with 18,000
housing units (including the existing units), both the Housing Ministry and the Interior Ministry
represented by the Jerusalem Governor (head of the district committee on zoning and construction)
objected to the plan, which led to a reduction in the number of housing units to only 7500 units[68].
The proportion of the open green land in this plan was 25% while the allotted ratio of the
construction area to the land area in Arab neighborhoods ranges between 50% and 75%, compared
to 125% in some Jewish neighborhoods, such as the project approved by the municipality in Ras AlAmoud, owned by Yshevat Beit Aurot[69]. Moreover, while the zoning of Pisgat Zeev settlement (built
on lands owned by residents of Shufat and Beit Hanina villages) took only three years, the zoning
process for Beit Hanina took more than 13 years and several other Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem
remain without a zoning scheme. In addition to the discrimination in the Israeli zoning and building
policy against the Arab population, Israeli authorities have been banning the implementation of selfmanaged Arab housing projects, such as the teachers housing project in Atarot (Kalandia) area.
As a natural result of Israels zoning and building policy, the Arab population of Jerusalem has
been forced to resort to unlicensed building in order to solve their housing problems. Jerusalem
municipality has responded to this by issuing administrative orders of demolition whenever the
building is detected before being erected and inhabited. The municipality has also filed lawsuits before
the Municipal Affairs Court against those who have already built and inhabited an unlicensed house
and obtained court orders of demolition. It should be noted that right wing political groups in the
Knesset often pressure the municipality to implement the demolition orders in East Jerusalem. For
example, a number of Knesset members resorted to the High Court, claiming that the municipality
has not implemented a large number of demolition orders issued against houses located in Arab
neighborhoods[70]. Finally, it is estimated that 15,000-20,000 buildings in East Jerusalem have been
built without permits; i.e 40% of the total number of buildings[71], and that Israeli authorities have
demolished some 2000 houses since 1967[72]. In addition, some 3000 demolition orders are pending
against Palestinian buildings[73]. Another estimation made by UN OCHA in its May 2009 report is
that at least 28% of all Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem are at risk to be demolished for being
built illegally[74].

g) Social security benefits:


The Social Security Agency pays different benefits to eligible persons under the Social Security
(Combined Text) Law of 1995[75], which replaced and introduced numerous amendments to the
Social Security (combined text) Law of 1968. The 1995 law came to ensure a certain level of social

[67]

Halabi Usama, The Legal Status of Jerusalem and its Arab Population, p. 107 and references cited in.

[68]

Ibid., p.108.

[69]

Ibid., pp.108-109.

[70]

H.C 1901/94 Uzi Landau and others vs. Jerusalem Municipality and others, published in compilation of High Court
Decisions, Vol. 48(4), p. 403.

[71]

Margalit, Meir, No place like Home-House Demolition in East Jerusalem, ICAHD. Jerusalem. 2007.

[72]

JERUSALEM-Israeli Settlement Activities & Related Policies, PASSIA, Jerusalem, June 2009, p.22.

[73]

Ibid.

[74]

Ibid.

[75]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, No. 1522, 1995, p. 210.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

29

welfare, particularly for vulnerable social groups. Benefits payable under the 1995 Law include:
benefits for elderly people[76], for widows[77], work-related injuries[78], maternity benefits that include
a hospital allowance, a birth allowance and a birth benefit[79], child benefits[80], unemployment
benefits[81], disability benefits[82], and benefits to ensure the rights of the workers in case the employer
becomes bankrupt or the company is resolved[83]. Each of these benefits require special eligibility
conditions that must be met by a person in order to receive that form of benefits from the social
security agency. A common condition for paying benefits to elderly people, widows, unemployed
workers and children is that the concerned person should be insured, i.e. residing in Israel.
As indicated in its relevant articles, the Law requires residency (not citizenship) as a main
condition for being eligible to receive the above mentioned benefits. Since the population of
East Jerusalem has become permanent residents in Israel following the annexation of their city,
persons meeting the remaining conditions shall be eligible to receive the above benefits.
The Social Security Agency opened a branch in East Jerusalem and started to offer services to
the population that were covered by the census in June 1967 and were given Israel ID cards.
Initially, the agency did not require recipients to remain living within the municipal boundaries of
Jerusalem according to a decision made on 13 February 1973 by an inter-ministerial committee
created by the Israeli Government. This decision stated that any person holding an Israeli ID
card based on their residency status in Jerusalem and who maintain making their due payments to
the social security incessantly shall keep enjoying the social security rights even if they move their
place of residence to outside the boundaries of Jerusalem municipality. Apparently the decision
aimed at reassuring the rights of residents that have been forced to move their place of residence
to Jerusalem suburbs for one reason or another. During this time, the Mayor of Jerusalem voiced
his support of this decision, stressing that the competent bodies have not revoked the ID card of
anyone so far. The municipality has reached an agreement with officials in the Interior Ministry
and a governmental decision was made to ensure that no harm is made to Arab residents who are
forced to search for a solution to their housing problem outside the boundaries of the City[84].
However, the official policy in this regard has changed rapidly and the Jerusalemites who moved
to live outside the municipal boundaries started to pay the price. For example, the Social Security
Agency stopped paying child benefits to many families when it found that they are living in areas
such as Al-Ram, Ezareyeh (Bethany), Abu Dis and Dahiat Al-Barid on the pretext that they are
living outside Israel[85]. The Social Security Agency interpreted the inter-ministerial decision made
in 1973 as securing the rights of the population to benefits for children born in Jerusalem before
the date their families moved to live in the aforementioned suburbs, while children born after that
date shall not receive benefits. The National Labour Court has confirmed this position[86].

[76]

Article 244 of the Social Security Law.

[77]

Article 252 of the Social Security Law.

[78]

Articles 75-157 of the Social Security Law.

[79]

Articles 39-64 of the Social Security Law.

[80]

Articles 65-73 of the Social Security Law.

[81]

Articles 158-179 of the Social Security Law.

[82]

Articles 195-222B of the Social Security Law.

[83]

Articles 180-192 of the Social Security Law.

[84]

Al-Anbaa Newspaper, 15/8/1980.

[85]

Usama Halabi, The Legal Status of Jerusalem and its Arab Population, p. 114.

[86]

For example see: File No. MZ o-38 Rafiq Shweki and others vs. National Security Agency, Compilation of the National
Labour Court Decisions, Vol. 19, p. 111.

30

While a significant number of the East Jerusalem population forfeited their right to the different
social security benefits (for living outside the municipal boundaries) and some have forfeited
their right to residency in Jerusalem (when the Interior Ministry decides that they are living
outside Israel), the Jewish settlers maintain their right to the different social security benefits
in spite of their residency in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli settlers have benefited from
the 1987 Social Security Regulations (Applicability to Certain Categories of Covered Persons).
Article 2 of these Regulations states that the provisions of the [social security] law shall apply to
every person living or working in the territory [the West Bank and Gaza Strip U.H] as if they are
living or working in Israel, if they are Israeli citizens or have the right to return to Israel under
the 1950 Law of Return[87].
Following the signing of the Oslo accords and their endorsement by the Knesset, amendments
were made to the Social Security Law affecting and even annulling rights that had been gained
by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who had moved to the West Bank (Judea and
Samaria) or Gaza Strip under the 1987 Regulations (Rights and Duties of Those Not Residing
in Israel) or the 1993 Regulations (Payments to Jerusalem Residents Who Moved Their Place
of Residence to Judea, Samaria and Gaza Strip). The Palestinians were affected by amendments
made to Article 192A of the 1968 Social Security (Combined Text) Law, which was amended
later to become article 378 in the 1995 Social Security (Combined Text) Law[88], limiting the
rights and benefits granted by the Law to Israeli resident in the territory. Paragraph a of the
same article defined an Israeli resident in the territory as one who works or lives in the West
Bank and Gaza and is an Israeli citizen or has the right to enter to Israel according the Law
of Return and who would have been listed as an Israeli resident if s/he happen to have his place
of residence in Israel (emphasis added).
This amendment came into effect as of 21 December 1994 and is clearly limited to the Jewish
population and excludes the Arab Palestinians holding Israeli ID cards. Accordingly, Palestinian
Jerusalemites holders of Israeli ID cards, who live in the West Bank or Gaza have become
ineligible to receive the security benefits other than benefits associated to injury in a work
accident taking place in Israel. Under the aforementioned amendment, any accident taking
place after the amendment came into effect shall not be considered a work accident if it takes
place outside Israel, even if on the way to or from work in Israel. Another result stemming
from the definition of Israel resident in the territory as stated in article 378 of the 1995
Social Law was that Jerusalemite mothers giving birth in Israeli hospitals lost their rights to
have hospital expenses covered by the Social Security Agency, and to receive birth allowances
and benefits if they happen to live with their husbands in Gaza or the West Bank, even if their
husbands work in Israel[89].

h) Health insurance:
The right to obtaining medical treatment under the Official Health Insurance Law of 1994[90] is also
conditional on the concerned person being a resident of Israel. Thus, losing the right of residency
in Jerusalem leads to losing the right to obtaining medical health. For the purposes of this law, a

[87]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Regulations, no. 5029, (10/5/1987), p. 913.

[88]

See infra note no. 74.

[89]

Article 40 of the Social Security Law of 1995.

[90]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, No.1469, 1994, p.156.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

31

resident means the resident under the Social Security Law, which includes Israeli resident in
the territory under article 378 of the Law, i.e. Jewish settler living in the West Bank[91].
4.

The start of the third millennium : more constraints on family unification and increased
risks of losing residency and social benefits :

The period since the start of the third millennium has been characterized by continued
implementation and intensification of Israels discriminatory policy, which has sought, since the
beginning of the occupation in 1967, to realize the idea of the largest possible land with the
smallest possible Arab population.[92] During this period, Israeli policy has been implemented
through numerous steps taken by the Israeli authorities, the most prominent of which, in terms of
the achieved and expected outcomes, are twofold: the first was the enactment of the Citizenship
and Entry to Israel Law (Temporary Order) of 2003[93] (referred to hereafter interchangeably as
the Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law or the Temporary Order). The second fold was the
construction of Jerusalem Incubator, which is part of the separation wall, separating Jerusalem,
with its expanded boundaries, from the rest of the West Bank.[94]
These two steps, however, were only taken after the Israeli Parliament had taken a step with symbolic
and political dimensions regarding the status of Jerusalem and its boundaries as delineated by the
Israeli government in June 1967. On 7 December 2000, shortly after the failure of the Camp
David negotiations between the late Yaser Arafat, (then head of the Palestinian Authority) and
Ehud Barak (then the Israeli prime minister), the Israeli Parliament amended the Basic Law:
Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel and added three new articles[95]: Article 5 of the amended Law
states that for the purposes of this law, the boundaries of Jerusalem shall include, among others,
the entire area described in the annex to the decree on expanding the jurisdiction of Jerusalem
municipality of 28 June 1967, which was issued under the Municipalities Law.[96] Article 6 bans
the transfer of any power vested by the law in the Israeli Government or in Jerusalem municipality
in relation to Jerusalem jurisdiction to any political or authoritative foreign element or to any
similar foreign element whether permanently or for a limited period. And Article 7 of the Law
provided that the provisions of articles 5 and 6 cannot be amended except by a basic law enacted
by the majority of Knesset members.

a) Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law (Temporary order):


This law was enacted on 6/8/2003 to limit the possibility of family unification for Palestinian
Jerusalemites and their Palestinian spouses from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, even if this would
lead (and it is in fact leading) to the break-up of such mixed families. This temporary law which
still prevented the Minister of the Interior from issuing a permanent or even a temporary residency
visa to those considered as residents of the territory, i.e., residents of the West Bank or Gaza. This
definition includes those who are registered in the population registry of the territory or living
in the territory even if not registered there. In addition, this law prevents the promotion of the

[91]

Article 2 of the Official Health Insurance Law.

[92]

Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: The Torn City, Jerusalem, Isratypest Ltd., 1976, pp. 113-115.

[93]
[94]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, 2003, No. 1901, p. 544.


This paper does not address the Structural Plan of Jerusalem 2000 initiated by Jerusalem municipality.

[95]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, 2000, No. 1760, p.28.

[96]

See Diagram 1: The creation of the Israeli legal framework for annexation June 1967

32

non-Jerusalemite spouse from his/her status to a higher status under the Entry to Israel Law.[97] For
example, those whose applications for family unification were approved and who obtained a visa
for a stay in Israel (B visa) will not obtain after the required 27 months a permit for temporary
residency (A / 5 visa), which in addition to the right to work in Israel, is accompanied by the right to
receive benefits from the Social Security Agency or the right to receive health services. The provision
halting the promotion from one visa to another was applied retroactively. This has resulted in large
numbers of spouses from the West Bank holding the same visa for many years and not knowing
when they will finally achieve family unification by obtaining a permanent residency[98].
This Temporary Order came to replace the governmental decision No. 1813 issued on 12 May 2002,
which provided for suspending all decisions regarding family unification and closing all the doors for
any new applications, including the registration of children born outside Jerusalem or in Jerusalem
for a Jerusalemite mother and a West Bank or Gazan father. The pretext used to justify this decision
is that perpetrators of some suicide bombings inside the Green Line had received assistance and
guidance in reaching the place of the bombing from persons carrying an Israeli ID obtained through
family unification[99]. Although this justification was security-related (and used for the subsequent
temporary law), the primary goal was to prevent large numbers of Palestinians from outside Jerusalem
from entering the city and to other cities in Israel through marriage, followed by family unification.
In this context, it should be noted that Eli Shai, then the Minister of Interior from Shas party,
published a booklet attempting to prove that Palestinians consider the family unification process a
realization of the right to return through the back door.[100] It is not coincidental, therefore, that the
title of the aforementioned governmental decision was policy of family unification regarding the
Palestinian Authority population and foreigners of a Palestinian origin.
The Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law (Temporary Order) was amended on 27 July 2005[101],
where slight positive changes were made, opening the door for applications for family unification
of non-Jerusalemite husbands over the age of 35 years and of non-Jerusalemite wives over the age of
25[102]. Additionally, the interior minister was allowed to grant a permanent or temporary residency
visa to children up to the age of 14. The Military Commander of the West Bank was bestowed the
power to grant a visa of stay in Israel for children over the age of 14. But the law bans granting a
residency visa in Israel to those considered as residents of the territory if the Minister decides,
based on a recommendation from the competent security bodies, that the concerned person or
a member of his/her family may pose a threat to Israels security[103]. The effect of the Temporary
Order has been extended for periods of six months, most recently on 17 July 2006 ending on 16
January 2007, when the prime minister issued a decree under the Governments power according
to article 5 of the Temporary Order[104].

[97]

Published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, 1952, No. 111, p. 354.

[98]

The Author has handled a larger number of cases of people suffering from this problem.

[99]

In a brief submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court, setting as High Court of Justice (HCJ 7052/03, 7102/03, 7642/03,
7643/03, 8099/03 8263/03,1065/03 Adalah and others vs Ministry of Interior and others) the State Attorney, representing the
Interior Ministry, claimed that the number of Palestinians holding Israeli Ids and involved in such incidents was 26. Whereas
the total number of those obtained Israeli ID through family unification was several thousands.

[100]

The booklet was published on 12 May, 2002.

[101]

The Amendment was published in the Compilation of Israeli Laws, 2005, No. 2018, p. 544.

[102]

The explanation given to this amendment was that those involved in attacks inside Israel were within an age group below
this age. See Article 3 of the Law.

[103]

See Article 3D of the Law.

[104]

The decree was published in the Compilation of Israeli Regulations, 2006, p.657.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

33

On 28 March 2007, the Knesset passed a second amendment to the Citizenship and Entry
into Israel LAW (Temporary Order)[105]. This amendment expanded the list of persons whose
family unification is subjected to the aforementioned restrictions to include, in addition to West
Bank and Gaza residents, spouses from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq[106]. Moreover, the second
amendment added an article entitling the Interior Minister to grant a temporary residency permit
or a permit of stay in Israel, for humanitarian reasons, to those who have a relative living legally
in Israel. However, this is conditional to the recommendation of a special committee established
for this purpose. The amendment explained that for the purposes of this article, the relative
being the applicants spouse or the couple having children shall not be considered a humanitarian
reason.[107] The amending law extended the effect of the Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law to
31 July 2008[108]. Soon after this amendment, the effect of the Temporary Order was extended
once again to 31 July, 2009 by a decree issued by the Prime Minister under the Governments
power according to article 5 of the Temporary Order which allow amendment to up of one year
each time.[109] Indicating its strong well to continue with its discriminatory policy towards the
Palestinians seeking family unification, the Israeli Government approved on 19 July, 2009 the
proposal by Eli Shai, Minister of Interior, to extend the effect of the Temporary Order once again
until end of July 2010.[110]
It is worth noting here that the Israeli High Court of Justice, in High Court case 7052/03 Adalah
and others vs. the Interior Minister and others, has approved the constitutionality of the Temporary
Order of 2003 on 14 May 2006 with a majority of 6 judges out of 11[111]. The majority of judges
justified their decision to allow causing damage to the right to family life by the pretext of
security threats associated with the entry of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to Israel
and the inability of the Israeli security systems to examine all cases individually[112]. The court
rejected petitions filed by Arab and Israeli human rights organizations and Arab and Jewish
Knesset members and kept the law intact. On the day following the hearing (14 February 2006),
Hebrew newspapers published a statement by the vice-president of the High Court (currently
retired) Misheil Hashin, who was among the majority approving the law, referring to couples
who want to live together in Israel: Nobody denied them the right to establish a family, but they
can live in Jenin instead of Um Al-Fahm.[113] However, Adalah did not give up, and filed another
petition against the Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law (Temporary Order)(Amendment No.
2), 2007. This petition which challenge the constitutionality of the Temporary Order in its
current amended text, was heard on March 15, 2009 but still pending a final decision by the
Israeli Supreme Court[114].

[105]

Published in Compilation of Israeli Laws, 2007, No. 2092, p. 295.

[106]

The relevant countries are listed in the Supplement to the Law.

[107]

Article 3A1(h)(1).

[108]

Article 5.

[109]

The decree was published in the Compilation of Regulations, No. 6692, 2009, p. 1134.

[110]

Veiler-Polak, Dana, The Government Approves the Proposal by Minster of Interior to Extend the Effect of the Temporary
Order Concerning the Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law, Haaretz Newspaper, 20 July, 2009. www.haaretz.com/hasite/
spages/1101200.html .

[111]
HCJ 7052/03, 7102/03, 7642/03, 7643/03, 8099/03 8263/03,1065/03 Adalah and others vs Ministry of Interior and others
(not yet published). The decision can be found on the following website: www.pador.co.il.
[112]

Ibid.

[113]

Haaretz Newspaper, 15 February, 2006.

[114]

. HCJ 830/07 Adalah and others vs. Minister of Interior and others.

34

Certainly, the failure to obtain family unification keeps the concerned person in an unbearable
situation. On one hand, s/he is forced to leave Israel, as his/her stay there is considered illegal.
But on the other hand, s/he is linked and attached to a family: a spouse and children. If s/he does
not abide by the law and leave, s/he will be arrested and taken to court, which may sentence him/
her to imprisonment. If a decision is issued against the violating spouse, it will become later a
criminal deterrent surely preventing the approval of his/her family unification application. A
worrying step in this regard was taken by the Israeli authorities on 19 July 2006, when the Knesset
passed first reading (out of three) of a draft law called :Entry to Israel Law (Amendment No.
19), which in summary stipulates that any person illegally staying in Israel for a period over 30
days, shall not be allowed to obtain any status unless s/he leaves Israel for one or more years, even
if s/he is a spouse or a relative of an Israeli citizen[115]. Due to the fact that restrictions on residency
are mainly imposed on Palestinian Jerusalemites and their spouses, persons mainly affected by this
draft law in regard to family unification will be Arabs, particularly families whose application for
a family unification in favor of a spouse was rejected and s/he did not leave the country. However,
this draft law may also affect relatives of non-Jews who are married to Jews but who are not subject
to the 1950 Law of Return[116].
Finally, it should be noted that the Israeli justice minister has recently proposed a draft law to amend
the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom aiming at preventing the Israeli High Court from
examining petitions on the constitutionality of decisions issued under the Return, Nationality and
Entry to Israel laws. The main purpose is to prevent the possibility of canceling the Nationality
and Entry to Israel law (Temporary Order) in view of a new petition that has been filed and is to
be examined claiming unconstitutionality of this law.[117] The proposed draft amendment states
that the proposed amendment reflects a belief prevailing among the Israeli public that the state
of Israel has the right and duty to control entry, residency and naturalization of non-residents
according to the values of the declaration of independence, Zionist perceptions and the states
security, economic and social needs.[118] It is not surprising, therefore, to know that the Israeli
Government has intensified its efforts during the years 2006- 2008 to sharply increase the number
of persons who their status of permanent residency was revoked. According to Haaretz, the
Ministry of Interior has confirmed that they have revoked permanent residency status of 1363
Jerusalemites during the year 2006 and of 4, 577 Jerusalemites in 2008 i.e more than 50% of the
total number of persons that their status was revoked until then[119].

b) The Separation/Annexation Wall surrounding Jerusalem:


The other important and critical step in this period, which reflects Israels position of keeping
theGreater Jerusalem (including Maale Adumim in the east, Givaat Zeev in the northwest and
Efrat and Beitar settlements in Bethlehem Area in the south and south west) under its control, is

[115]

Shahar Ellan, A License for love, Haaretz Newspaer, 27 July 2006, p.B6.

[116]

The Law of Return, grants the right to Israeli citizenship to non-Jew married to a Jew (born to a Jewish mother or
converted to Judaism), including a spouse of a Jewish grandchild. Yet, any person outside this protection curricle cannot obtain
a status in Israel threw this Law (such as a mother of a non-Jewish spouse of a Jew or children of a non-Jewish spouse of a Jew
from previous marriage).

[117]

Haaretz Newspaper, May, 2008, front page.

[118]

Ibid.

[119]

Hason, Neer, A Sharp Increase in Number of Palestinians from East Jerusalem that Israel Has revoked their Residency,
Haaretz Newspaper, December 2009, front page and on page 2.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

35

the decision to build a separation Wall in and around the city, with estimated length of 168 km[120],
referred to by the Israelis as the Jerusalem Envelope[121], in order to isolate the city in its expanded
boundaries from the West Bank.
The decision to build the Wall in Jerusalem area was made by the inter-ministerial committee on
national security on 11 September 2002 and was approved again on 20 August 2003.[122] By May
2006, 33 km of the Wall in the Jerusalem area were completed[123]. Another 24 km of this Wall
were subject to objections [124] and 19 petitions against it were pending in the Israeli High Court
of Justice[125]. According to the latest information published by the Israeli Ministry of Defence
on August 14, 2007, 7 petitions against the Wall in the Jerusalem Area were pending before
the Supreme Court[126]. By mid-2008, it was estimated that almost 50% of the construction was
completed.[127] The Wall in the Jerusalem area de facto annexes 228.2 km or 3.9% of the West
Bank, and when completed, it will effectively separate over 230,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites from
the rest of the West Bank[128]. It separates Jerusalem from Bethlehem in the south, from Ramallah
and the surrounding villages and suburbs such as Dahiet Al-Barid, Al-Ram, Bir Nabala, Beit
Hanina village, Biddo, Beit Iksa, and Beit Surik in the north and northwest, and from Abu Dis
and Ezarreyeh (Bethany) in the east. The Wall also separates parts of expanded Jerusalem itself,
as is the case with Shufat refugee camp, which is located within the municipal boundaries as
delineated by Israel in 1967 but has become completely beyond the Wall to the east.
According to a research by Yesrael Kamhi from Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies, the number of
Jerusalemites holding Israeli IDs who will remain outside the route of the Separation /Annexation
Wall is between 80,000 and 90,000[129]. The same research indicates that Jerusalem will be turned
from a central city to a border city and the Wall will invoke misery and rage among the affected
Palestinians, which may increase their participation in terrorist activities against Israel in the
future. The research also warns that the construction of the Wall may increase the unlicensed
building in Arab neighborhoods in an attempt to absorb Jerusalemites returning to live within the
city boundaries due to the Wall and may increase the number of Arabs renting houses in Jewish
neighborhoods for the same reason[130].
A joint survey conducted by BADIL Centre and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
between 15 May and 10 June 2006 and published on 4 July 2006 clearly illustrates the impact of
the Wall on the lives of Palestinians living in its area. The survey sample included 981 Palestinian

[120]

http://he.wikipedia.org/wik; PASSIA, JERUSALEM-Israeli Settlement Activities & Related Policies, a newsletter,


Jerusalem, June 2009, p. 20.(PASSIA)

[121]

The Wall is surrounding Greater Jerusalem, and the term (Otef Yerushalayem in Hebrew) indicates a close protection
of the City and other Palestinian areas that turned out to be in the Israeli side of the Wall.

[122]

The website of Israel>s security wall (which Israel insist to call it fence): http://www.securityfence.mod.gov.il/Pages/Heb/
matara.htm

[123]

Haaretz Newspaper, May 17, 2006.

[124]

Ibid.

[125]

http://www.securityfence.mod.gov.il/Pages/Heb/hadashot.htm. (Accessed on May 2006)

[126]

http://www.securityfence.mod.gov.il/Pages/Heb/hadashot.htm#news76. (Accessed on July 11, 2009)

[127]

PASSIA, p. 20.

[128]

Ibid. See also : Cnaan Liphshiz, UN: Separation fence will sever Jerusalem from West Bank, Haaretz Newspaper,May 23, 2009.

[129]

An overview of the study was published in Makor Rishon website: www.makorrishon.co.il.

[130]

Another overview of the main conclusions of the aforementioned research (which was submitted in a report to the Israeli
government before it was later published in a book) were published in Haaretz Newspaper on October 6, 2005 (Nadav Shargai,
Wall Route in Jerusalem May Create Difficult Social Problems).

36

households (composed of 5148 persons) living in Jerusalem district and found that 17.3% of the
sample have changed their previous place of residence due to the Wall and its consequences, i.e.,
to keep their IDs[131]. In addition, it was found that 63.8% of individuals 16 years old and over
are thinking of changing their current place of residence because of its location relative to the Wall
or for other reasons related to the Wall[132]. The survey also reveals the direct negative impact on
peoples access to health services and education, as well as the separation from relatives.
It should also be noted in this regard that the Israeli Government does not hide the fact that
there is a political dimension for the Walls route in Jerusalem area, additional to the claimed
security dimension. In its response to petitions against the Walls route in the north of Jerusalem,
the state prosecutor explained that the route within or on the municipal boundaries of the city
has political meanings and implications as it passes through an area under the Israeli sovereignty.
In the session held on 21 May 2006, the Israeli Supreme Court Chief in Justice, Ahron Barak,
plainly stated that Israel has the right to build a security wall on the municipal boundaries within
its sovereignty and, hence, the question whether the Wall is built there for security or political
reasons is irrelevant[133]. He then questioned: What right do the residents of Al-Ram located in area
B have to appeal against Israels right to build a Wall within its area of sovereignty? Consequently,
the Court rejected the appeal in December 2006[134].
Hence it is not unreasonable to say that the Wall constructed around Jerusalem is a new delineation
of the municipal boundaries with a wider geographic area (including Maaleh Adumim) and a
fewer number of Palestinians (excluding Shuafat refugee camp). And for sure, this Wall is serving
the Israeli goal of securing the control over Palestinian land and people-the goal for which Israel
has employed its legislative and judicial systems in addition to its governmental and administrative
system. By creating an obvious physical barrier between what is in and what is out, the Wall
will cause thousands of Palestinian Jerusalemites to lose their right of residency if they continue to
live outside the wall and outside the municipal boundaries for seven years or more[135]
5.

The Judaization policy continues in Jerusalem and its surroundings:

In May 2007, it was published that the local committee for zoning and building in Jerusalem
municipality decided to start the construction of 20,000 housing units in two areas beyond the
Green Line and within the expanded municipal boundaries of 1967: Al-Walajeh in the south and
the Airport area (Atarot) in the north. Elli Pollack, who served as the head of the committee and
the deputy mayor, was quoted to say that the aim is to create continuity between Jerusalem and
Ghosh Itzion (Bethlehem area) in the south and settlements in Beit Eil area in the north[136].

[131]

A summary of the Survey was published in a press release on July 4, 2006.For more details, see: Forced Displacement as
a result of the Construction of the Wall and its Associated Regime in Occupied East Jerusalem: A Pilot Study of Badil Resource
Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in cooperation with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS),
Bethlehem-Ramallah, 4 July, 2006.

[132]

Ibid.

[133]

The Author was present in court when Chief Justice Barak expressed his opinion in response to an argument made by one
of the petitioners lawyers, and thus confirms that this information is correct.

[134]

HCJ 5488/04 A-Ram Municipal Council et-al v. Gov. of Israel, submitted on 10/6/04, ruling on 13-12-06 (not yet
officially published).

[135]

This one of the cases stipulated in Article 11A of Entry to Israel Regulations of 1974 and lead to losing the
permanent residency.

[136]

Haaretz Newspaper, May 10, 2007.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

37

On 11 March 2008, it was reported that the Government of Israel started to register in the
Land Registry Jewish properties located in the Jewish quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Thus, it is the first time that, from a legal formal point of view, Jewish ownership of properties
in the Jewish quarter, which came under Israels control along with the Old City since 1967,
is being documented[137]. The newspaper added that, in preparation for property registration,
buildings in the quarter were surveyed and a new numeration system was adopted not only for the
buildings but for each single apartment/housing unit[138]. It was also reported that the registration
of properties located in the Jewish quarter at the Land Registry Office is conducted by the
Governmental Corporation for the Development of the Jewish Quarter, under the Corporations
Unit in the Housing Ministry. The news report also explains that a unique registration method
was created due to problems associated to the specific characteristic of the site: when it was found
that the buildings are interlinked either through their lower or upper parts and their boundaries
go beyond individual lots, a decision was made not to suffice by recoding the land portion, the
lot and the building, but to record the number of the apartment or the housing unit. According
to the news report, more than 120 properties out of 600 have been registered so far. Presently, the
area of the quarter is 133 dunums, comprising 15% of the Old City, while its original area was
only 5 dunums[139].
The unprecedented fact is that this step provides a specific legal cover for the defacto Israeli
control since 1967 under the provisions of the Israeli Land Registration Law by documenting and
registering Jewish individuals ownership of properties they are occupying. Nevertheless, nothing
in this step can alter the status of the Old City with its different quarters under the international
law as an occupied area, and nothing alters the duty of the occupiers to refrain from altering the
realities on the ground. This step also does not conform to the duty of entering negotiations with
good will in order to reach a just solution for the issue of Jerusalem, for which a solution is still
pending since the partition resolution and the declaration of the city as a special status area outside
the boundaries of the Jewish and Arab states (corpus separatum)[140]. This technical step should be
viewed in its actual place and size within the bigger picture that reflects the whole set of measures
taken by the Israeli government in their attempt to strengthen the Jewish presence and weaken the
Arab presence in the city and its surroundings.
In a press conference held by the then Israeli Prime Minister Ihud Olmert and the chancellor of
Germany, Angela Merkel, on 17 March 2008, Mr. Olmert stated:
There will be places, where construction processes or additions to existing buildings
will go on because these places will remain in the hands of Israel in any future agreement.
This includes Jerusalem, first and foremost. We build in Jerusalem because everybody
knows that the state of Israel will never give up neighborhoods such as Har Homa,
which - as you know - is an integral part of Jerusalem[141].
On 9 March 2008 it was published that the Minister of Building and Housing Zeev Boim is
continually giving instructions to his office staff to go on with the construction in Agan Haayalot
in Givat Zeev (northeast of Beit Duqqo). The Minister stated that the renewal of the construction

[137]

Haaretz Newspaper, May 11, 2008.

[138]

Ibid.

[139]

Ibid.

[140]

UN General Assembly decision No. 181, issued on November 29, 1947.

[141]

Haaretz Newspaper, March 17,2008.

38

in Agan Haayalot is an important indicator. The addition of hundreds of housing units is part
of a policy aimed at responding to the increasing demand and the need to balance and ensure a
reasonable level of prices, while responding to the demographic needs in Jerusalem. I intend to
proceed with the activation of this policy in order to strengthen and construct Jerusalem[142].
In addition, Haaretz newspaper reported on 17 March 2008 under the heading A plan is approved
to build thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem:
Two weeks ago, the district committee on zoning and construction in Jerusalem
approved a plan to construct 2200 housing units in the area Givat Hamatos in
East Jerusalem. This plan will include the construction of 4000 units, which, once
completed, will isolate the residents of Beit Safafa neighborhoods, totaling 11,000,
within a continuum of Jewish buildings
In this stage, the approval is made to open the plan for objections
. The area of Givat Hamatos is located between Gilo neighborhood, Beit Safafa
neighborhood and Hebron road. This is one of the largest open areas in the municipal
boundaries of Jerusalem. It was explained to the committee that constriction in this
area is important for the future of the City. About 40% of the area of the plan is under
the ownership of Israel Land Administration, 20% are owned by Jews and about 40%
are owned by Palestinians.[143]
Finally, it is worth mentioning here that the current Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, has restated
recently the known Israeli position in response to the American criticism to the Israeli position
to allow construction of some 20 apartments for Jews in the Shepherd Hotel, in East Jerusalems
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood:
United Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people in the State of Israel, and our
sovereignty over the city is not subject to appeal,[144]
To maintain this position and ensure its control over the Palestinian land and people in East
Jerusalem, Israel has subjected them both to intensive use of its laws and policies as shown in
diagram 3 below:

[142]

www.moh.gov.il

[143]

A plan is approved to build thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem, Haaretz, 17 March 2008.

[144]

Akiva Eldar, No difference to U.S. between outpost, East Jerusalem construction, Haaretz Newspaper, July 20, 2009.

CHAPTER ONE

Legal status of the Population of East Jerusalem since 1967

39

Diagram 3: Israeli laws used to ensure control over people and land

6.

Conclusion and Closing Remarks:

Israel has adopted a policy aimed at assuring its control over East Jerusalem and other areas occupied
in 1967, and at strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and its surroundings and ensuring
a Jewish demographic prevalence at the expense of Arab presence. To achieve these goals, Israel has
applied its administration to the area concerned ad has used its national laws as political tools.
However, East Jerusalem has been and remains an occupied area, governed by the laws of armed
conflict relating to occupation. Under these laws, the occupying power is prohibited from altering
the city>s features and geography and from imposing constraints on its population with the aim
of forcing them out. International law does not acknowledge annexation, nor does the act of
occupation, no matter how long it lasts, grant the occupier sovereignty[145]. The occupier may have

[145]

See especially Part III, Section III of the Geneva Convention relative to the protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
Geneva, 12 August 1949. Available at www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/380?OpenDocument

40

the authority and administration but sovereignty remains in the hands of the occupied people. i.e.,
the Palestinian people living in the city, and has the right to self-determination.[146]
It is worrying to see that many states deal with Jerusalem as a regular Israeli city, ignoring the
realities of the occupation that began in 1967 and have yet to end[147]. Hopefully, the statements
issued recently by the United States,[148] the European Union and the UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon, [149] demanding Israel not to build more apartments for Jews in East Jerusalem, indicate
a real and more serious change in this regard. The UN Secretary General reminded Israel of its
obligation as an occupier and stated that if Israel continues settlement activity, it will not only be
acting contrary to international law but also to a strong international consensus[150]
Certainly, the occupation of East Jerusalem and the forced application of Israeli laws and
administration on its Palestinian population have altered their status from the Israeli point of view,
making them attached in the different aspects of their lives to the Israeli institution and affected
by how it applies its laws and regulations, often against the interest of the Palestinian population.
However, until an agreed upon solution on the future of Jerusalem is reached, ensuring equality
and decent living for all its residents, the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have no choice other
than to remain attached to their city and be aware of obstacles and traps created by the Israeli
laws and practices, in order to avoid them and prevent any grave consequences that may ensue,
such as losing their right to residency in the city under Israeli law. The continued presence of the
Palestinian population in Jerusalem is testament to the peoples resilience and fortitude in their
city, and constitutes a main factor in ensuring the success of any future solution seeking to make
Jerusalem also the Capital of the Palestinian State.

Endnotes:
1 *Usama Halabi has been a Law Researcher and Advocate in Jerusalem since 1987. He serves on the Board of BTselem:
The Israeli Information for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and was a founding member of the Arab
Cultural Association in Nazareth, where he served on the Board until 2001. He also was a founding member of Mada alCarmel, the Center for Applied Social Research in Haifa. Mr. Halabi received his Law degree from Hebrew University. He
holds a MA in Law specializing in national discrimination in Israeli law and a second MA in International Legal Studies
from American University in Washington, DC. His research focuses on constitutional and administrative law, planning law
and land expropriation. His published work deals with the legal jurisdictional status of Jerusalem, Israeli practice in the
West Bank and Gaza, and the status and rights of the Arab minority in Israel. In addition to seven published books, he is
the author of numerous articles in professional journals and local and international newspapers. His most recent book is
entitled, Limits of a Place in Human Existence: Two Dimensions, Geography and Demography in Israels East Jerusalem
Policy Between 1967 and 2000 (Ramallah, Jerusalem Association for Legal Aid and Human Rights, 2001).His recent article
is entitled: The Legal Status and Rights of the Palestinians Displaced as a Result of the June 1967 War, The Palestine-Israel
Journal, Vol. 15No.4, 2009,p.54.

[146]

The right to self-determination of peoples is recognized in the Charter of the United Nations as well as international
human rights law. See especially Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1967) and General
Comment 12 of the Human Rights Committee, 13 March 1984. Both available at www.ohchr.org.

[147]

Reference is made to the Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the OPTs, by John Dugard, the then UN Special
Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Geneva, August 2005.

[148]

Infra note 138.

[149]

News Agencies, Israel envoy: No crisis with U.S over settlements, www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1102126.html
(22/7/2009)

[150]

Ibid.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement


Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

41

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

43

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In


Occupied East Jerusalem
Khalil Tufakji
Director of the Maps Department of the Arab Studies Society

Introduction
Legal, political, historic and geographic perspectives play a significant role in determining political
boundaries. While the legal perspective determines the boundaries of sovereignty and authority
jurisdiction, the political perspective determines the ideological, economic, social and political systems.
These elements played a significant role in the demarcation of the Jerusalem Municipal boundaries.
The importance of the geographic location of Jerusalem lies in the fact that it combines the two
elements of openness and closeness at the same time. While closeness provides a certain degree
of protection, openness on the other hand provides the potential to communicate with the
neighboring areas and countries. These elements underline the religious, military, commercial and
political importance of the city.
Due to Jerusalems location, with its characteristics of closeness and openness, it was chosen to be
the point of emergence of Judaism and Christianity and to become the center of illumination for
both religions. Afterwards, Islam linked Mecca with Jerusalem physically and spiritually giving
Jerusalem a renewed importance and an increasing defensive ability.
The first nucleus of the city of Jerusalem was established on ad-Duhur hill (Tel Ovel) that overlooks
the village of Silwan in the south-eastern part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This defensive position was
chosen to provide protection and security to this emerging city. The water of Ein Silwan (a spring
that has the name after the village) provided the population with water. Valley Quadroon (the fire)
surrounds it from the east and valley Rababa (Hnom) from the south-west and Jouret al- Innab
from the west. These valleys form three natural defensive lines which make any attack on the Old
City of Jerusalem difficult except from both the north and north-west side.
To determine the geographic boundaries of the city, it was surrounded by walls that had a wider
circle than that defined by the present walls, which were build afterwards by the Ottoman Sultan
(Salman al Qanuni). The initial walls reached northward up to the area known nowadays as the
mosque of Sad and Said.
In the year 1863, the first municipality of Jerusalem was founded. In the mid-nineteenth century,
Jewish neighborhoods began to appear and were then included in the boundaries of Jerusalem for
the political purpose of achieving a Jewish majority in the city.[151] For ideological reasons, Yameen
Moshe neighborhood was established in 1850 in the district of Joret al-Innab in order to establish
the nucleus of Jewish neighborhoods outside the walls in the south-western, north-westerns and the

[151]

The demarcation of the municipal boundaries was established in such a way to include the Jewish neighborhoods and
exclude neighborhoods with and Arab majority for the political purpose of creating a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.

44

western direction. Then the neighborhood of Mia Shaarim was established in the Musrara area,
and Makor Haim (Moscovia) in (1858). The international Zionist movement, with the compliance
of the British, was able to pressure the Ottomans to issue a number of decrees that allowed the Jews
to establish a number of institutions in the city of Jerusalem. The international Zionist Movement
established the headquarters of the Executive Committee of the International Zionist Organization
in Jerusalem, as well as the headquarters of the Jewish Agency, the Constituent Fund (Keren haYesod), the National Jewish Fund (ha-Keren ha-Kayemet), the National Council of the Yeshuv
and the Center for the Jewish National Committee which was the highest political administrative
authority in Palestine in 1920. Jerusalem was assigned as the headquarters of the Hebrew University,
which was established in 1925, and Hadassah Hospital which was founded in 1935.
As a result of the emergence of the suburban settlements in the western part of Jerusalem, and in
accordance with the Zionist claims in the Israeli literature that Jerusalem has always had a Jewish
majority and as part of the demographic conflict over it, the British Mandate Government and
the Zionist leaders set the demarcation of the municipality boundaries in relation to the Jewish
presence. However it should be noted that the area of the Jewish quarter in the old city of Jerusalem
did not exceed 5000 mand its population was not more than ninety families.
The boundaries were extended several kilometers to the West up to Givat Shaul, Shkhunat
Mantifyori, Beit ha-Kerem, Shkhunat ha-Poalim and Beit Fajan, which was, located 7 kilometers
away from the city walls, while the extension to the south and east was limited to few hundred
meters, and stopped at the entrances of the neighboring Arab villages of the city. The Arab villages
were excluded from the boundaries of the city including those big ones, namely (at-Tur, Shufat,
Lifta, Deir Yassin, Silwan, al-Isawiya, Ein Karem, al-Malha, Beit Safafa) despite the fact that those
villages were connected to the city in a way that could almost be considered their suburbs.
Then the demarcation of the boundaries of the municipality was established in 1921 to include the
Old City and a cross section of 400 meters along the eastern side of the wall of the Holy City in
addition to the neighborhoods of Bab as-Sahira, Wadij-Joz, Sheikh Jarrah from the north. From
the south, the line of the boundaries ended on the city wall, while from the west, with an area
that exceeds the eastern part several times, the boundaries included the large concentrations of the
Jewish communities in addition to some Arab ones (al-Qatamon, al-Baka al-Foqa and al-Baka
al-Tahta, al-Talbeyia, al-Wareya, Sheikh Bader and Maman Allah).
The second scheme of the municipality boundaries was done in 1946 to expand the services in the
area. However, the expansion again focused on the western side in order to include and annex the new
Jewish neighborhoods that remained outside the area of the general planning 1931. In the eastern part
of the city, the village of Silwan was added from the south in addition to both ath-Thawri and WadijJoz, with a total area of 20,199,000 m. The ownership of these lands was distributed as follows:
1

Muslim properties

Jewish properties

26.12%

Christian properties

13.86%

Governmental and municipal properties

Roads, Railways

Total

40%

2.9%
17.12%
100%

The constructed area expanded from 4,130000 m in 1918 to 7,230,000 m in 1948. The partition
resolution (1947 -1949) once again recommended a separate status for Jerusalem under international

CHAPTER TWO

45

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

administration. This resolution renewed the idea of partition of Palestine and internationalization
of Jerusalem suggested by the Palestine Royal Commission (Peel Commission) to keep Jerusalem
and Bethlehem, in addition to al-Old, al-Ramble and Jeff outside the boundaries of the two states
(the Jewish and the Arab) with free and safe crossings.
The resolution stated that Jerusalem should be a separate region (corpus separatum) located between
the two states (the Arab and the Jewish) and subject to a special international regime administered
by the United Nations by a Trusteeship Council which will be formed for this purpose.
It determined the boundaries of Jerusalem subject to the proposed internationalization to include,
in addition to the same city (Abu Dis from the east, Bethlehem from the south, Ein Karem, Mutsa,
Kalonia from the west, and Shufat from the north).
But the war in 1948 and the escalation of the war battles that followed the partition resolution led to
the division of the city into two parts. On November 30, 1948, the Israeli and Jordanian authorities
signed a ceasefire agreement, following the assigning of the division line of Jerusalem between the
eastern and western parts of the city on July 22, 1948. Thus, by the end of 1948, Jerusalem was
divided into two parts and its borders were set as a result of the cease-fire line as follows:
1

Palestinian areas under the Jordanian control

2
3
Total

2,220.000 m

11.48%

occupied Palestinian areas (Western part)

16.261.000 m

84.12%

No man zones and United Nations zones

850.000 m

4.39%

19.331.000 m

100%

Thus, after the armistice agreement between the Jordanian and Israeli on March 4, 1949, an
agreement to share Jerusalem between them was confirmed in accordance with their political
position to oppose the internationalization of the city. On July 13, 1951, the first elections
for the Arab Jerusalem municipality were held. The municipality paid special attention to the
determination and expansion of its municipal boundaries in order to accommodate the population
growth and solve the worsening housing crisis. The first scheme that shows the boundaries of
Jerusalem Municipality (East Jerusalem) was ratified on 1 April 1952; the following areas were
included within the areas under the municipality jurisdiction: the village of Silwan, Ras al-Amud,
al-Suwaneh, Ard as-Samar, and the southern part of the village of Shu>fat. The area under the
municipality authority became 6.5 km while the constructed area was only 3 km.
On February 12, 1957, the Municipal Council decided to expand the boundaries of the municipality
due to the limitations set by Kandil to prevent construction in the foothills of the Mount of Olives and
the western and southern slopes of Mount Masharef (Mount Scopus). Many areas were monastery
and church properties and others were still common properties (masha) and had not passed the
reparciliation process and thus could not be areas for building houses (Sheikh Jarrah, Shufat).
In one of the sessions of Jerusalem Municipality on June 22, 1958, the Council discussed the
project of expanding the municipality boundaries northward to include an area of 500 meters
wide from both sides of the main road leading to Ramallah and extends until Calandia airport.
Discussions over the expansion of the municipal boundaries, and for a major urban scheme for the
city continued without conclusion until 1959.
In September of 1959, the transformation of Jerusalem Municipality into the Jerusalem Secretariat
was announced. The change in the titles was not followed by a change in the size of budgets or aid.

46

In 1964, after the 1963 elections, there was a recommendation to expand the narrow boundaries
of Jerusalem Municipality to become 135 km, but the outbreak of the war in 1967 stopped the
project, and the boundaries remained as it was in the fifties.
As for West Jerusalem, it has been expanded to the west and south-west to included new neighborhoods
such as Kiryat Yovel, Kiryat Menachem, Eir Ganim, the villages of Ein Karem, Beit Safafa, Deir
Yassin, Lifta, al-Malha to become with an area of 38 km. The West Jerusalem Municipality began to
prepare an Urban Scheme for the city in 1964 which was re-sketched in 1968.

1967 War and the Expansion of the Boundaries


In June 1967 war broke out and subsequently, at the end of the war, Israel occupied East Jerusalem
and began its procedures for the Judaization of the city. The successive Israeli governments, of both
ha-Marakh and ha-Likud, agreed on this policy and developed strategic and tactical programs to
achieve this goal. After announcing the expansion of the boundaries of Jerusalem Municipality and
its reunification on June 28, 1967, and in accordance with Israeli policy to control as much land as
possible with the least possible number of Arab population, Rehbam Zeevi[152] drew the municipality
boundaries to include the territories of 28 Arab villages and cities excluding their population
centers. The boundaries thus took a convoluted path, sometimes according to topographic lines,
and another time with the roads. Thus, another era of the municipality boundaries demarcation
began to expand the area of Jerusalem Municipality from 6.5 km to 70.5 km. The total area of
both East and West Jerusalem became 108.5 km. Later in 1990, the boundaries expanded to the
west, and the area of Jerusalem became now 126 km (See boundaries expansion table).
Since the early hours of occupation, the Israeli bulldozers and the Israeli policy started designing
the features for the Judaization of Jerusalem in order to impose fait accompli and create geopolitical conditions that would make it difficult for a politician or a geographer to re-divide the
city once again. The Israeli authorities started to set the foundations for the construction of Jewish
neighborhoods in East Jerusalem in order to establish a series of colonies surrounding Jerusalem
from all sides, and inhabit them by settlers to create a new geographic and demographic reality.
These policies lead to a population disturbance in Arab East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian residents constituted the majority in 1967, and in 2008 they became only 35%.
They also used to control 100% of the land but now after the confiscations, the establishment of
settlement projects, the building of roads, they control only 14% of the land.

Laws and regulations followed for the Judaization of Jerusalem


1.

[152]

Land Confiscation: the Israeli authorities used confiscation laws for the public interest
in order to establish the colonies. According to the Land Act of 1943 and through the
Ministry of Finance and under the coverage of expropriation for the public interest, 24 km
of land was confiscated, equivalent to 35% of the area of East Jerusalem. 15 Israeli colonies
were established and 60 thousand housing units were built. The law of expropriation for

Rehbam Zeevi was the military leader of Jerusalem district during the 1967 war , before his assassination at the beginning
of the second Intifada, he occupied the position of the president of the right wing Moledet Party.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

47

the public interest is one of the most prominent laws used by Israel to seize the Palestinian
lands that were considered the vital space for their construction development.
2.

The Laws of Organization and Construction: the Israeli authorities used the laws of
organization and construction to limit the physical growth and control this growth through
organizing and planning. Since the early days of occupation, Israel started closing areas around
the Old City announcing them as green areas and prevented any building on them. 40% of
the total area of East Jerusalem became green areas and were considered strategic reserve for
the construction of the settlements, as in Abu-Ghneim Mountain, and the area of ar-Ras in
the village of Shufat. Those areas were converted from green areas to settlement construction
to become Har Homa in the case of Abu Ghneim and Ramat Shlomo in Shufat.

Construction and growth has therefore been severely restricted, with 13% of the annexed area
zoned by Israeli Authorities for Palestinian construction, within which Palestinians may apply to
obtain a building permit.[153]
Numerous obstacles were also placed within the process of obtaining building permits, including
heavy costs that could reach up to thirty thousand dollars for every permit, in addition to extended
delays for the issuance of a permit[154]. This policy forced the inhabitants to build their houses
without permits or simply immigrate towards the areas surrounding the municipality of Jerusalem
boundaries where the land prices are reasonable and it is easier and less expensive to obtain a
building permit.
3.

Absentees Law: The Absentees Property Law of 1950[155], which was enacted for land
confiscation, is also used as a tool to Judaize Jerusalem. This law states that a person who
was outside the State of Israel during the census conducted by Israel in 1967, his properties
are transferred to the custodian of the absentees properties.
The custodian has the right to sell and lease the property. This is also what happened to the
real estate that had been seized for settlement construction in the Old City[156].

4.

Judaization: as part of the Israeli project in Jerusalem, Israel worked on the Judaization of
the Palestinian minority that remained in the city, whose percentage does not exceed 35%
of the total population. Israel is working towards linking health, education, commerce,
industry and services sectors in the eastern part of Jerusalem with its own institutions in
West Jerusalem, adding to the annexation of the limited minority of the population of
Jerusalem to the annexation of the lands of the city.
The Municipality is raising the level of pupils assimilation in the Israeli governmental
schools in order to cover the Arab public and private schools restricted abilities. There are
39189[157] Arab students studying in the Israeli schools in Jerusalem, i.e. 53%, while 30270
Arab students are studying in the Arab private and public schools.

[153]

U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Planning Crisis in East
Jerusalem: Understanding the Phenomenon of Illegal Construction.April 2009.

[154]

Ibid.

[155]

Absentees Property Law 5710. (1950) Israel Knesset.

[156]

See: Osama Halabi.

[157]

Sameer Jibril. References of the Education in Jerusalem/ the Reality and Challenges/Jerusalem, (2008).,

48

In order to achieve all these goals, the municipality formed a committee of its senior
staff to set a vision that contributes to the upgrading of East Jerusalem and achieving full
integration with West Jerusalem.[158]
5.

Confiscation of Identity Cards: Israel views the Palestinians living in Jerusalem as


Jordanian citizens living in the State of Israel, according to the laws imposed on the city
of Jerusalem. Just after the occupation in 1967, Israel imposed a general curfew and
conducted a census of the Palestinians on June 26,1967. The census tables were considered
the basis for issuing residence cards to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Israel considered that
all Palestinians residents in Jerusalem had illegally entered Israel, although permitted them
to stay in Jerusalem as a humanitarian gesture from the State of Israel. Thus, they are not
citizens but foreigners who are permanent residents in Israel.
This is the legal status that made every Jerusalemite living in any other place, whether
outside the country, in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, for a relatively long period, lose his
or her right of permanent residency in the City.
The Law of Entry into Israel of 1952 in particular empowers the Minister of the Interior
to cancel residency, temporarily or permanently.[159]
In addition, article 11(a)(2) of the Nationality Law 1952[160] states that the people will lose
their permanent residency in case of residency in a foreign country for a period of seven
years. This article applies to Palestinians who live outside the Municipality boundaries of
Jerusalem that were drawn by the Israeli authorities after the occupation.

Greater Jerusalem in the Israeli Concept


The increase of the Arab population has formed an essential point of departure in drawing the lines
of Greater Jerusalem[161] In 1993, planning for the Greater Jerusalem began under the leadership
of Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Minister of Housing at that time, and was supported by direct
instructions from Yitzhak Rabin.
The objectives of this scheme was to create a clear contiguity for the Jewish population, reduce the
convergence and friction with the Arabs, strengthen the special status of Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel, and link the settlements outside the municipalitys boundaries with those inside it by
passages to achieve a Jewish majority of 88 % and an Arab minority of 12%.
Thus, the final goal was to create a demographic change to benefit Israel by implementing the
vision of Ehud Olmert (the Mayor of Jerusalem at that time). Olmerts vision was to annex the
settlement blocs outside the municipality boundaries, exclude the Arab communities from the city,
separate the Palestinian areas from one another dividing the West Bank into cantons, control large
parts of the West Bank and prevent any Palestinian geographic jurisdiction or practice sovereignty
on the ground, and finally prevent the establishment of a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem.

[158]

Ahmad Gneim. Jerusalem:TtheLast Call,.,(1999) p110.

[159]

Entry Into Israel Law 5712. August 26, 1952. Knesset.

[160]

Nationality Law 5712. April 1, 1952. Knesset.

[161]

Metropolitan of Jerusalem, Foundation Plan and Development Plan/Interior Ministry and Housing Ministry, the
administration of Israels lands/ the municipality of Jerusalem 1994, the official document.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

(Map of Greater Jerusalem)

49

50

Sharons Project (The Gates)


Within the programmed policy of Judaization, and after surrounding the city with colonies, a
new policy began in 1987 to establish settlement outposts in Arab neighborhoods. The Israeli
authorities began establishing such outposts in the Old City, especially in the Muslim Quarter
using various methods and laws to seize Arab properties. Parallel settlement societies with multiple
names were established, supported directly and indirectly by the Israeli government, to control
Arab houses in order to achieve several objectives, including:
1.

A controlled and secured passage between Bab al-Amood and al-Buraq Wall.

2.

Making it difficult to divide the Old City in case of reaching a peaceful solution.

3.

The expulsion of the Arab population out of the Muslim and Christian quarters, in order
to ensure population control, making the Arabs a minority who is easily monitored. This
is the Israeli plan for the year 2020.

Afterwards, this policy moved outside the city walls, when Sharon put forward a project
to establish 26 settlements outposts outside the Old City within the Arab neighborhoods.
The project begins in Ras al-Amood, and Mountain of Olives, Sheikh Jarrah, al-Mukaber
Mountain, and then moved to the area of Wadij-Joz. These outposts were points of friction
between Arabs and Jews and began expanding in order to surround the Arab neighborhoods
with settlement outposts, making the Arab population a minority surrounded by a Jewish
majority. Through this, the Arab neighborhoods are supposed to become dispersed points in a
mosaic portrait of Jewish presence.

The Settlement Project E1


This project was announced in 1994 on an area of 12.443.000 m of the lands of the villages of
at-Tur, Anata, al-Eizariya and Abu Dis. The scheme that was designed and approved in 1997 by
the Israeli Minister of Defense at that time Yitzhak Mordechai aims at:
1.
2.
3.

The establishment of an industrial zone on an area of 1 km


The establishment of 4000 housing units.
The establishment of 5 hotels.

The E1 scheme is considered one of the most dangerous for the following reasons:
1.

The complete closure of the eastern parts of Jerusalem district and the surrounding of these
parts (Anata, at-Tur and Hizma), thus leaving no possibility of their future expansion to
the East.

2.

Effectively prevent the establishment of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

3.

Linking all the settlements situated in the eastern areas and outside the municipality
boundaries of Jerusalem with the settlements within the municipality boundaries of
Jerusalem. Thus, making the Arab villages segregated areas surrounded by colonies.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

51

4.

The establishment of the Greater Jerusalem in the Israeli concept with an area of 600 km,
or the equivalent of 10% of the West Bank.

5.

The establishment of a set of belts of highways and subways that connect these settlements
with the settlements within the municipality boundaries and the Arab villages, such as the
proposed Ring Road, Road No. 70 ( its construction is ongoing) or Tunnels Road No.16,
which was inaugurated on Mount Scopus (al-Masharef ).

6.

The Large increase in the Jewish population within Jerusalem Municipality boundaries
to overcome the growth in the Arab population, which amounted to 35% of the total
population. The desired ratio of the Arabs as decided by the Israeli Ministerial Committee
for Jerusalem in 1973 was 22%. However, it decided recently that this ratio should not
exceed 12% of the total population of Jerusalem located within Jerusalem Municipality
boundaries.

7.

Linking this scheme with the project under planning, which is called the Eastern Gate.

8.

Preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state with a geographic jurisdiction.

52

(The settlement project outside and within the boundaries of Jerusalem)

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

53

The Eastern Gate


The Eastern Gate is located to the north east of Jerusalem and extends over the main eastern
entrance of the city from the direction of the Jordan Valley. It has an area of about 2.700.000 m.
The project aims at establishing commercial centers on an estimated area between 15 thousand
and 20 thousand m, the establishment of productive projects (Hi Tech), municipal institutions,
bus parking and a train station.
In 1996, Jerusalem municipality decided to allocate half a million shekels for the planning of the
Gate, and on 20 November 1996, the municipality set a plan to build 2200 housing units. The
Minister of Housing at that time Meir Porush announced his primary approval of the project
and in the elections held in 2008, the elected Mayor (Nir Barakat) revived this project in his
electoral campaign.

The Complementary Building Plan for the Settlements of Neve


Yacov and Adam
Within the Urban scheme that the Ministry of Construction and Housing is working on, it
planned to build about 1,600 housing units in the north-east of the city. The construction will
be beyond the citys jurisdiction and will create contiguity between the Jewish settlement of Neve
Yacov and Givat Binyamin (Adam).
The proposed scheme aims at cutting off the geographic contiguity between the villages of (Hizma,
Jaba and ar-Ram) in order to put an end to their future expansion, as well as linking the colonies
outside the municipality boundaries with those within the city boundaries.
The Annexation Wall that has been completed in the region enforces this project; the lands
which were excluded from the boundaries are preserved for future use in the benefit of the
proposed construction.

Paralyzing the Center of the Arab City


Following the encircling of Jerusalem from all sides with colonies, the establishment of thousands
of Jewish housing units accompanied with Israeli settlers, and the confiscation of 34% of the area
of Jerusalem[162], another phase of the process of Judaization has begun.
This phase concentrates on directing a blow to the nerve of the Palestinian economy by declaring
the new scheme for the city center with the aim of restricting the commercial activity by challenging
and thus destroying the trade and industry in the Arab city.
Business has extended very little beyond the two rows of shops and offices that existed before 1967
in Salah-Din Street, which was considered a major commercial zone.

[162]

Land Research Center. http://www.lrcj.org/index.htm. (2009)

54

In 1966, the Jordanian government planned to establish an industrial zone in the area of Qalandia
because it is near the airport, which was planned to become international after performing the
necessary expansions including the increase of the length of the runway and the establishment of
a services area and designed special engineering plans for the region.
The war of 1967, which disrupted these projects, was followed by a phase of land confiscation in
1970 to establish a special industrial zone for Israel. These confiscated lands would have become
the space needed for the expansion of Palestinian trade and the establishment of Palestinian
institutions that left the commercial area as a result of the Israeli policy of economic and
regulatory constraints.
The municipality is now conducting radical changes in the historic commercial area. Trucks, public
vehicles parking, and peddlers on the streets will be removed to clean up the streets surrounding
the walls of the Old City, and the making Salah-Din Street into a pedestrian passage, thus adopting
radical changes in the traffic movement. Another targeted area is al-Musrarah. It has been destroyed
by establishing separating streets and making the whole area a general parking lot.
Thus, the Israeli plan is to transfer economic activity from the center of the city of East Jerusalem
to West Jerusalem. These changes will gradually weaken the economy of East Jerusalem and its
traditional status as a commercial center.
A Final Israeli blow to East Jerusalem was the construction of the Annexation Wall that separates
Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. As a result, a new phenomenon of transferring business
and economic institutions from the city center began to appear with all of the related political and
economic dimensions. Consequently, East Jerusalem becomes a ghost town after five p.m. further
indicating the loss of East Jerusalems status as a city center.

Scheme 2020
Scheme 2020 emerged following the realization that the Arab population reached 35% of the total
population in spite of the aforementioned policy. The studies conducted by the Israeli research
centers predicted a percentage of 40% for Arabs among the total population in the city in 2020,
which alarmed Israeli planners.
The Israeli government formed a steering team consisting of 40 planners in several fields and
included 31 representatives on behalf of Jerusalem Municipality, headed by the Mayor. The team
was supposed to design a structural map for the city of Jerusalem in order to develop the city
and strengthen its centralism as the capital of the State of Israel and as a center for the Jewish
people. It aims at strengthening its economic and social center, taking care of public buildings
and buildings of national and international institutions. It also seeks to promote and increase
the power of attraction of the city after years of population expulsion and create reserves of land
for residential construction.
This means that Israels attempts to control the city has taken a new dimension of demographic
struggle, information for which can found in the book issued by the Municipality, including plans
for maintenance of the Arab population growth.
The data indicates the existence of 15 thousand illegal housing units as well as the failure of the
expansion project to the west and the construction of 20 thousand housing units for Jews met
resistance from the Jewish neighborhoods. Thus, Safadi project file was closed.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

55

Thus, the scheme 2020, with all its political and planning dimensions has one goal, to reduce the
Palestinian presence in the city, especially during this crucial stage of transition for Jerusalem. The
surplus of the housing units and the areas of development are only allocated for Jews in order to
attract new residents and prevent migration from East Jerusalem.
As for Palestinians, the scheme handles the increase in population by granting permits to add
new floors to the existing buildings only, without taking into account the infrastructure needed
to absorb the new residents. According to the scheme, the areas that are rural in nature, where it
is forbidden to build, are included in the Arab populations areas. In fact, allocating 2.500.000
m to construct 26 thousand housing units for Arabs cannot be applied on the ground for several
reasons, the most important of which are the land ownership, the common ownership and the lack
of infrastructure. In addition, there is a lack of financial resources for construction, assuming that
all the above-mentioned problems were resolved.
Noting that of the 9.500.000m, which is the space allocated for the establishment of 47,000
Israeli housing units, construction will be done with certainty because the Israeli government and
its construction companies have their own system in construction and selling the apartments.
This means that the absorptive capacity for designated Jewish areas in the scheme will be executed
according to the set plan, while the planned Arab construction will remain uncertain.

The Effects of the Annexation Wall on the Situations in the


Holy City
The Ex- General Attorney of Israel, (Meir Shamgar) admitted that the racial Annexation Wall, which
is now constructed in the city of Jerusalem, allows the custodian of the absentees properties to seize
the properties of Palestinians who live outside the Annexation Wall. The Wall has created a situation
whereby Palestinians have been dispossessed of their lands and property which were transferred to
the custodian of the Absentees Properties[163]. Through the dispossession of Palestinians Jerusalemites
of their properties and the denial of their rights for movement by various pretexts, Israel is seeking to
isolate Jerusalem with all its neighborhoods and surrounding villages from the West Bank[164].
For the first time, the State admits that the considerations in determining the track of the
Annexation Wall were not only security purposes, but there are also other considerations involved.
250 thousand Arabs are living in the city of Jerusalem holding the blue Identity Card, 130
thousand live inside the wall, while 125 thousand live in the areas of Jerusalem located outside the
Wall. Demographic considerations were taken into account when defining the future boundaries
of Jerusalem Municipality. The future vision of Jerusalem conducted by the former Mayor of
Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Olmert, is based on the following key elements:
1.

Excluding Palestinian communities from the municipality boundaries of Jerusalem.

2.

Annexing the settlement blocs which fall outside the municipality boundaries, while
keeping the Old City and the surrounding areas with a Palestinian population no more
than 12% of the total population.

[163]

Dan Margalit. A Scandal Made in Jerusalem. Maariv 25/1/2005.

[164]

Amira Hass. The Plan to Isolate Jerusalem Haaretz 26/1/2005 .

56

Continuation of the Settlements Policy After Anapolis


Agreement (Real Estate Registration Project)
According to the Israeli weekly Yerushalaim on 11 November 2005, and re-published in
Haaretz newspaper on 10 March 2008, there is an unprecedented step which has been taken in
the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The company for the development of the Jewish
quarter is working on the registration of 1300 properties in the Old City in the lands registery
(Tabo) that includes 585 housing apartments, 146 shops and more than 60 public institutions. It
should be noted that before 1948, the so-called Jewish quarter had an area of no more than 5000
m of which the majority was located in Haret ash-Sharaf. There were some Jewish properties in
the Muslim Quarter, which were managed by the Jordanian custodian of the enemys properties,
in accordance with the decision taken by the Minister of the Interior at that time, Wasfi Mirza, on
September 16, 1950, and published in the Official Gazette No. 3035.
In 1968, the confiscation of 116000 m of the lands of the Old City was announced according to
a confiscation order for the public interest, No. 5 b/ a/ 108/322 and was published in the Official
Gazette No.1443. In accordance with this order, 790 properties belonging to the followings were
confiscated:
Islamic Wakf

15 real estate

1.9%

Inherent Wakf

382 real estate

48.6%

Private properties

257 real estate

32.5%

9 real estate

1.1%

121 real estate

15.3%

6 (Municipality)

0.8%

790

100%

Christian consecration
Jewish properties
Public facilities
Total

The statistics show that the properties belonging to the Arabs equal 84% of the total land
confiscated in 1968. The claim that these properties did not have historic documentation in the
Ottoman, English and Jordanian period is inaccurate because the British government had divided
the Old City into 59 blocks, numerating each block, each house, and even the number of rooms
in each house.
The owner used to register and pay the taxes on his properties. Many among the population
have registered their properties in the Turkish property registry during the Ottoman period. The
procedure continued in the Jordanian period, as evidenced by the existence of the records of
taxes of the real estate assessment in the municipality and in the records of property registered
in Israeli government departments, the records that were captured by the Israelis in 1967.This
unprecedented procedure is a legal cover for the continuous control Israel has adopted since 1967.
Through the registration of land ownership, Israel provides a legal cover that consolidates the
Jewish individual property over the real estate they occupy.
This step comes within the policy to strengthen the Jewish presence, weaken the Arab existence in
the city and its surroundings, preceding the final negotiations in order to impose realities on the
ground and bring about a change in the geography and the population.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

57

Israeli Settlements Within the Expanded Boundaries of


Jerusalem Municipality
1) The Jewish Quarter:
As previously mentioned, the Israeli policy of the Judaization of Jerusalem began immediately
after the 1967 war with the demolition of Haret ash-Sharaf in the Old City, for the purpose of
expanding and building the new Jewish quarter. In 1968, 116000 m of land was confiscated
according to an order issued by the Ministry of Finance attached with the map No 5b/ a/108/322
and published in the Official Gazette No. 1443.
On this confiscated area, 595 buildings which include 1048 shops and stores, in addition to five
Mosques, 4 schools, and an Arab historic market (the Bashoura market) and a commercial street
which was part of the Bab as-Silisla street along with a number of historic buildings constructed
during the Mamluki, the Ayubi times and the Ottoman Empire. About 6 thousand Arabs were
living in this area in three neighborhoods: the Moroccan (al-Maghraba)[165] neighborhood, which
was completely destroyed after the war, and a part of as-Siriyan and ash-Sharaf neighborhoods.
In his autobiography, the late Secretary of Jerusalem, Rohi al-Khatib indicates that on 11 June
1967 the removal of the Moroccan Quarter had started. Hayel Sanduqa indicates in his research
that evacuation of the neighborhood was executed in the evening of June 10, 1967, and therefore
the dates of 11, 12, 13 of June 1967 had witnessed the first ethnic cleansing in the history of the
city of Jerusalem, which continues until this day.
When the Palestinian residents refused to leave their homes, the houses were destroyed on the heads
of their owners. Israeli sources have admitted, during an investigation published in Yerushalaim
weekly in November 1999, that Eitan Ben-Moshe Ben Eitan, an officer in the Engineering Corps
in the Israeli army at that time, that they demolished the neighborhood of al-Magharba and
expelled its inhabitants, or demolished houses on top of the heads of their owners, then their
bodies were buried within the remains under the current Wailing Wall square. Three more bodies
were transferred to Bikur Holim hospital in West Jerusalem. Uzi Benziman referred to the incident
in his book Jerusalem: A City Without Walls saying an elderly woman was taken out of the
remains of the house destroyed by the Israeli bulldozers. He further mentions the name of the old
woman Rasmiya Ali Tabeki. The same name was mentioned in another study as Rasmia Abu
Aquil Almughrabiah, who died later as a result of this event.
In addition, the girls school, which was built during the Jordanian era and, real estate located
outside al-Magharba Gate leading to al-Haram was also demolished in 14 June 1969. The school
was demolished after a period of time in which it was used as a Court of Appeal for issues of personal
status and then for a short period as a Rabbi Court. As for Abu as-Suod neighborhood, which
consisted of 21 houses and was adjacent to al-Haram from the outside, the Israeli government
removed these houses in 1969.
This area is about 15% of the total area of the Old City of Jerusalem (868.000 m). The authorities
made extensive efforts and huge financial investments in reconstructing the neighborhood. It
mixes the traditional distinctive style of the buildings of the Old City and the modern character

[165]

The Judaization of Jerusalem 9th September 1971/ Rohi al-Khatib.

58

of these buildings, which make the quarter a tourist and cultural site of the city, in addition to its
comfortable residency conditions. The population of this neighborhood was 2,400 inhabitants
in 2008.
Project No. 2185 was published, which aims to cover an area of 105.000 m, and to establish 650
housing units that include 2100 rooms on an area of 80.000m, while the planned units were
2122 units. Educational institutions, clubs, centers for mothers and children and health clinics[166]
were established in this neighborhood.

2) Neve Yacov:
The confiscation of 1.835.000 m between 1968 and 1980 was announced and published in the
official Gazette, in accordance with the Law of the Land (the acquisition for the public interest)
for the year 1943. The total number of the housing units is 3800 where 20250 inhabitants live in
an area of 862.000 m, according to the structural scheme No.1542. In addition to the existence
of 46.000m of green areas, that is considered a reserve for the future expansion of the colony[167].

3) Ramot:
Within one of the largest confiscations in the city of Jerusalem (1970), 4.840.000 m of land was
seized by the Israeli government. The announcement related to the confiscation was published in
the official Israeli Gazette (The Hebrew Bulletin) No. 1656 with the pretext of using the lands
for public interest. A map was attached carrying the number H f 121/ 322 with its borders, and
so the establishment of this colony began in 1972. According to the structural map No. 1861,
with an area of 2.875.000 m, there are (8000) housing units inhabited by 38,992 inhabitants,
and it has been expanded again carrying another name, Ramot neighborhood (06), which aims
at constructing 200 new housing units[168]. The colony was established on the territories of the
villages of Beit Iksa, Beit Hanina and Lifta.[169]

4) Gilo:
The establishment of this colony started in 1971, after the confiscation of 2.700.000 m in 1970,
according to the structural map No. 1905 with an area of 2.743.000 m, where 7,484 housing
units were constructed and inhabited by 27,569 Jewish settlers.
Its borders were expanded more than once; the latest was by 300 housing units after the confiscation
of more lands as absentee properties. This colony is considered one of the largest colonies in the
south-western part, where it controls the high lands that overlooks Beit Jala and Bethlehem, as
well as the city of Jerusalem.

[166]

The structural scheme No 2185/ for the Jewish neighborhood/ the old city/ the department of local planning/ the
municipality of Jerusalem 1969.

[167]

The structural plan for Never Yahoo Housing- Ministry of Housing- Scheme No 1562, 30/3/1971.

[168]

Ramot (06) is a new quarter within the structural scheme No. 4192/BM- the municipality of Jerusalem 1993- the area of
the scheme 203.000 m. The new quarter is a settlement expansion on new lands, but it took the same name with the addition
of no.6 in order to avoid international pressure in announcing a new colony as happened with Mountain Abu-Ghneim.

[169]

Ibrahim Matar. The Quiet War: Land Expropriation in the Occupied Territories. Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics,
Economics and Culture. Vol.4 No.2 1997.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

59

A broad street was built up between the city center and the colony (now Pat Gilo st.), and
therefore Beit Safafa was divided into two parts. The general scheme of the settlement indicates
9000 housing units[170] will be established. The colony was established on the lands of Beit Jala and
Sharafat, and the confiscation order was published in the Official Gazette No. 1656.

5) Eastern Talpiot:
A total area of 2.240.000 m was confiscated by an order issued in 1970 with an annexed scheme
No. H f/122/322. According to the structural map No. 1848, the area of this colony is 1.071.000
m, and 4400 housing units were established to accommodate 12,591 inhabitants.
This colony converges with the colony of Gilo, the south-eastern belt of those surrounding
Jerusalem, and a large part of the colony is situated on no mans land that separates Jordan and
Israel and is supervised by the Truce Supervision forces. After the 1967 war, Israel signed an
agreement with the United Nations in which Israel abandoned 2.084.000 m, and kept about
716.000 m. The establishment of the colony started in 1973[171]. The confiscated lands were from
the village of Sur Baher.

6) Maalot Dafna:
Maalot Dafna constructed on the land confiscated according to order No. H f/ 111/322 in
1968. The owners of these lands were families from Jerusalem, and the structural scheme
1439A indicates that the area of this Colony is 389.000 m with 1184 housing units that their
construction began in 1973 in the no man lands which separate East and West Jerusalem. Road
No. 1 was constructed along it.
It is considered one of the belt colonies (the heart), which are colonies constructed inside Arab
neighborhoods and apart from the fingers scheme to isolate and fragment the Arab neighborhoods.
In this area a large building was constructed to inhabit the Borders Guard police headquarters.
The Government plans to construct more housing units in the places that have remained
empty according to Sharons plan (26 gates around Jerusalem) and with a population of 3617
inhabitants[172].

7) The area of the Hebrew University:


The buildings of the Hebrew University were established on the territories of the village of alIsawiya in 1925, in addition to Hadasa Hospital in 1935. The Hebrew University remained within
the de-militarized zone under the supervision of the United Nations. After 1967 war and the
confiscation of large areas of lands the villages of al-Isawiya and Lifta, its borders were expanded at
the expense of Arab areas, and was connected with West Jerusalem through the colonies established
nearby (The French Hill, Givat ha-Miftar and Ramat Eshkol). The area of the structural plan No.
3203 is 740.000 m.

[170]

The local structural map 1905 department of local planning- the municipality of Jerusalem 1976.

[171]

The local structural map No. 1848 - department of local planning- the municipality of Jerusalem 1975.

[172]

The structural scheme No 1439A/ the local committee/ the municipality of Jerusalem 1974.

60

The Hebrew University occupies a strategic location, both for security and political reasons, because
it controls the north of Jerusalem, and overlooks a set of villages around it, in addition to the
Jordan Valley and the western mountains of Jordan (and as-Salt Mountains). Its total population
is about 2,500 inhabitants[173].

8) Rekhes Shufat (Givat ha-Shufat):


This colony is located on lands that were confiscated in 1970, in accordance with the law of
confiscation for the public interest. The total area of the colony according to the structural scheme
1973 is 1.198.000 m.
In the beginning, this area was planted and turned into a natural reserve. In 1990, the establishment
of the colony was announced, the trees were uprooted and the infrastructure for the establishment
of 2,165 housing units for Canadian religious Jews was set.
Presently, connecting this colony with the other colonies situated in the north-east (Neve Yacov,
Pisgat Zeev and Pisgat Omer) by Street No. 21 is ongoing. It joins street number 9 inside Israel
proper to connect eastern and western colonies with one another and separate the Arab villages
from each other, such as Beit Hanina and Shufat..
This colony has been constructed on the territories of the village of Shufat with a population of
12,822 inhabitants.

9) Ramat Eshkol (Givat ha-Miftar):


This colony is considered one of the first colonial settlements constructed around the city, and acts
as a link between the neighborhoods in West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem.
On September 1, 1968, an area of 3.345.000m was confiscated in accordance with the order
1425. In this regard, the structural map of this settlement neighborhood indicates the area of the
colony to be 397.000 m and about 2200 housing units to accommodate 6,600 people.
This colony converges with Givat ha-Miftar, the western part of the settlement neighborhoods
that were set up to monitor the high way between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in addition to the
encirclement of the city of Jerusalem[174].
The confiscated lands were private property of the village of Lifta.

10) The two colonies: Pisgat Zeev and Pisgat Omer:


These two colonies were constructed on the lands of the villages of Beit Hanina and Hizma.
4.400.000 m were confiscated for the construction of 12 thousand housing units to accommodate
100 thousand settlers.
According to the related structural schemes, this colony will be the largest settlement in the north-eastern
part of the city of Jerusalem and the second settlement belt after the first belt that is surrounding the city.

[173]
[174]

The structural scheme No 3203- the local committee- the municipality of Jerusalem 1970.

The colonies of Ramat Eshkol and Givat ha-Miftar are two attached colonies with the structural project No 1429A for
the year 1969- the local planning department.

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

61

It has a population of 38,684 inhabitants. Thus, by the end of the construction of these two
colonies, in addition to the settlement of Neve Yacov, the north-eastern wall of the colonial
project within the expanded boundaries of Jerusalem Municipality will be completed. There will
remain only one other empty area to be filled in order to connect all the colonies of the second
belt with those of the first belt[175].
For this reason, 827 m was confiscated within this project known as The Eastern Gate. The northeastern part of the wall was closed and the Arab neighborhoods in this region were encircled. The
political dimension of this is to confiscate more Arab lands, achieve the displacement of the Arab
population in indirect ways, ie. through their inability to build, and the establishment of the
industrial centers to find work for the settlers.

11) Atarot (Industrial Zone):


It was built on lands confiscated in 1970 with an area of 1.200.000 m, where the industries of
furniture and metal were founded. A lot of factories were transferred from Western Jerusalem to
this area.
Due to its proximity to the airport, a new project aims at expanding the airport runway and
facilities which plans to serve the industrial zone in transporting its goods internationally. Its
structural area is 1.360.000 m.[176]

12) Givat ha-Matos:


Givat ha-Matos was constructed on lands belonging to the village of Beit Safafa and the city of
Beit Jala. It has a total area of 170.000 m and the establishment was initiated in 1991 by installing
a few hundred caravans[177].
The structural map shows that the total area is up to 980.000 m, and that the temporary
construction will be replaced by permanent constructions and 3600 housing units will be built.
Along with Gilo, this colony is considered the south-western belt which is constructed around
Jerusalem in order to prevent the Arab extension and to encircle the Arab villages that lie within
Jerusalem Municipality boundaries and separate them from the cities of the West Bank.

13) The Settlement of Abu Ghneim Mountain:


In 1990, 1.850.000 m was confiscated from the lands of the Arab villages of Sur Baher, Um
Tuba and Beit Sahur, which is now a natural reserve. The structural scheme No. 5053 with an
area of 2.058.000 m allocates the construction of 6,500 housing units in this colony. Thus, with
the establishment of this colony in the south-east, and after its connection with the colonies in
the south-west, the south of Jerusalem will be closed, and puts the road linking Jerusalem with
Bethlehem under Israeli control. It has a population of about 1125 inhabitants.

[175]

The structural project No. 3144- the local planning department- the municipality of Jerusalem 1985.

[176]

The structural scheme- NO 1689- the local organization and building committee of Jerusalem 1977.

[177]

The number of caravans is 256.

62

14) French Hill:


Considered one of the first settlements in East Jerusalem, this colony was constructed on the lands
of the villages of Lifta and Shufat and is considered one of the largest settlements located in the
first belt surrounding the city. According to the structural scheme number 1541A[178], its total area
is about 822.000 m with 5000 housing units. It has a population of about 6631 inhabitants.

15) Mamila Project (the village of David):


It is located to the west of Jaffa Gate in the area of as-Shamaa neighborhood. In 1970, the
acquisition of an area of 130.000 m was announced according to scheme Hf/ 125/322. This area
which was a No Man Zone is a part of a general scheme that aims at the integration of East with
West Jerusalem, and the re-structuring of these two areas. The confiscated lands are considered
Arab property. The construction in the new village follows a particular style and pattern to suit
commercial and tourist purposes.

Conclusion
It is evident that the occupation authorities have created a new political and demographic reality in
the city of Jerusalem; the Israeli demography at the expense of the Palestinian geography through
land confiscation, settlements construction, green areas, house demolition policy and the refusal
to grant building permits.
All the aforementioned Israeli violations against the Palestinian land and people have created a
demographic imbalance. The construction of the Annexation Wall came to be used as a means to
pressure Palestinians in the course of any further negotiations to achieve agreements that would
serve Israeli interests.
The Demolished Houses According to the Years:
The Year

[178]

The Demolished Houses

2004

152

2005

120

2006

78

2007

94

2008

71

The structural Scheme No-1541A- the local organizing committee and construction of Jerusalem 1969.

CHAPTER TWO

63

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

The Demographic Struggle in the Israeli Literature*[179]:


Year

Muslim

Christian

Jewish

Total

1800

4000

2750

2000

9750

1835

4500

3250

3000

10.750

1840

4650

3350

5000

13.000

1850

5350

3650

6000

15.000

1860

6000

4000

8000

18.000

1870

6500

4500

11.000

22.000

1880

8000

6000

17.000

31.000

1890

9000

8000

25.000

42.000

1900

10.000

10.000

35.000

55.000

1910

12.000

13.000

45.000

70.000

1920

13.505

14.700

34.400

62.000

In 1961, the population of Jerusalem was 60488, with 36801 inside the Old City and 23687 outside it.

The Expansion of Jerusalem Municipality Boundaries:


The Year

The area in 1000 m

1952

33.5

1963

36

1964

38.1

1967

108

1985

108.5

1993

126.6

The expansion of the city up until 1964 was in West Jerusalem. After 1967, the expansion was
at the expense of the West Bank and the annexation of East Jerusalem. From 1993 onward, the
expansion was towards the West. By annexing Maale Adumim and establishing E1, the area will
become 191.4 km.

[179]

The Hebrew University, Dr Bin Arye- Jerusalem 1984.

64

The Number of Israelis in East Jerusalem During Selected Years*:


The years

The number of settlers

1972

6900

1977

33000

1981

59000

1986

103.900

1991

137.400

1995

157.300

1999

170.400

2002

175.617

2006

182.000

2008

193.000

* The Central Bureau of Statistics

Land Confiscation According to the Years Using the Law of Expropriation for Public Interest/ 1948:
Date of confiscation
8/1/68

Area/ Neighborhood
The French hill Mount Scopus (al-Masharef )
Ramat Eshkol
Maaloot Dafna
(Khalit Noah)

Total
14/4/68

765.000

The old city, the Jewish neighborhood only

116.000
881.000

Neve Yacov

470.000

Ramat Alon (the lands of Lifta, Beit Exa) Shufat

4.840.000

Talpeot East (Sur Baher)

2.240.000

Gilo (Beit Jala- Sharafat)

2.700.000

Atarot (Qalandia)

1.200.000

Ar-Rababa Valley

130.000

Yafa Street

100.000

Ramat Rahel Area

600.000
12.280.000

20/3/80

Pisgat Zeev (Hizma - Beit Hanina)

1/7/82

Atarot (Qalandia)

16/5/91

Abu Ghneim Mountain

1/2/95

Beit Hanina+ Beit Safafa

Total

485.000

Neve Yacov

Total

3.345.000

3.830.000

Total
30/8/70

The area in 1000 m

4.400.000
137.000
180.000+1.850.000
535.000
24.200.000

CHAPTER TWO

65

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

Arab Communities within Jerusalem Municipality Boundaries:


Name of the village

Area by 1000 sq.m

Number of inhabitants

Ath-Thawri + Western as-Sawahra

1.078.000 + 658.000

13651

at-Tur + as-Suwana

851.000 + 1.745.000

20169

5.294.000 + 3.327.000

21909

427.000

4771

Beit Safafa

1.577.000

5981

Ras al-Amood

1.262.000

12984

506.000

4129

2.394.000

10703

2.342.000 + 2.949.000

14050

2.441.000

10781

Sharafat

978.000

8939

Sheikh Jarrah

711.000

2672

Shufat

4.277.000

31218

Silwan

537.000

9994

5.333.000

11757

347.000

7179

1.000.000

24.000

Beit Hanina + Airport


Bab as-Sahira

Wad Hilwa (Wadi Yassul)


al-Isawiya
al-Mukaber Mountain + as-Sawahra
Kufr Akab

Sur Baher + Um Tuba


Wadij-Joz
The Old City
Total

47.391.000

208627 for the year 2002


280000 inhabitants according to
the 2008 census

66

Israeli Settlements within Jerusalem Municipality Boundaries, the Area and Number of
Inhabitants:
Name of the colony

Area in 1000 m

Number of inhabitants

Eastern Talpeot

1.195.000

12591

Gilo

2.859.000

27569

2.523.000 + 310.000

1125

588.000

2948

2.018.000

6631

380.000

3617

1.759.000

20250

122.000

2348

5.467.000

38684

397.000

3046

Ramot Sholomo

1.126.000

12822

Ramot

4.979.000

38992

Sanhadrea

378.000

4994

Total Area

24.754.000
(Equal to 35%)

175.617 number of
settlers on 2002

Abu Ghneim Mountain, Givat ha-Matos


Givat ha-Miftar
The French hill
Malot Dafna
Neve Yacov
The Jewish Neighborhood
Pisgat Zeev
Ramat Eshkol

193.000 number of
settlers on 2008

CHAPTER TWO

Land Confiscation and Settlement Construction In Occupied East Jerusalem

67

References:
1.

Efrat Alishea: The geography of settlement, translated by Dar Al-Galil 1990/ Amman.

2.

Osama Halabi: The Legal Status of the Population of East Jerusalem, 2008

3.

The Municipality of Jerusalem: the rotocols attached to the structural maps with different
dates.

4.

Tufakji Khalil: Israeli settlements in the West Bank/ Arab Studies Association/ Palestinian
Geographic Center, July 1994.

5.

Jerusalem, proposed project, Shoman Foundation 1995 / Amman

6.

Judaizing Jerusalem Facts and Figures/ Journal of Palestinian Studies 19.

7.

Palestinian Affairs Magazine - Nablus -1996.

8.

Nizar Ayoub / Dr.: The right of residency, March 2008 Jerusalem

9.

Palestinian Encyclopedia: Volume III / the issue of Jerusalem, issued by the Palestinian
Encyclopedia 1984 / Damascus P. 505

10.

Mohammad Mahmoud El-Deeb: Palestinian Boundaries, Analytical Study of the


Palestinian Mandate Documents, Tunisia/ Arab Organization for Education, Culture and
Science / Research Institute for Arabic Studies, 1976

11.

Research Institute of Jerusalem.

12.

Jerusalem Institute for Israel studies

13.

Statistical Year Book for Jerusalem - 2000-2007

14.

Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories Volume 18

CHAPTER THREE

Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of


Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

69

CHAPTER THREE

71

Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians


Rights to Residency in Jerusalem
Dr. Nizar Ayyoub
Legal Researcher Al-Haq

Introduction
The successive governments of Israel have consistently targeted the Palestinian presence throughout
historical Palestine. In 1948, the Government of Israel, under Ben Gurion, conducted numerous largescale expulsion operations displacing approximately 750,000 Palestinians (indigenous populations)
from the areas where the State of Israel was established, including the western part of Jerusalem. These
Palestinians were expelled and their houses and properties were either destroyed or appropriated and
used to house Jewish newcomers from across the world in a large scale in an attempt to conceal any
signs of Arab civilization inside the 1948 areas.[180] In addition, tens of thousands of Palestinians have
been forcibly displaced from their homes and are now living as internally displaced in what is today
known as the Palestine 1948 areas, where the state of Israel was created.
The goal of this study is to examine the extent to which Israeli policies and measures aimed
at increasing the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and minimizing the Palestinian can be classified
as forced displacement amounting to ethnic cleansing. To this end, the study will provide a
background on the legal status of Jerusalem, and detail the policies and methods adopted in
Jerusalem by Israeli authorities to expel Palestinians from the city, analyzing these within the
context of relevant international law. The study will also provide definitions of forced displacement
and ethnic cleansing, analyzing the application of these terms within the context of Jerusalem and
its Palestinian residents. A summary of the main points is followed by recommendations to the
international community, Israeli and Palestinian authorities and international and local NGOs
working in the occupied Palestinian territories.

1. Background: British Mandate over Palestine


On July 24, 1922, the League of Nations authorized the British government to have a mandate
over Palestine. Composed of 28 articles, the British Mandate for Palestine included an obligation
of the British government as the mandatory to secure the establishment of a Jewish national home
in Palestine, realizing the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1918. The Mandate officially came
into force on September 29, 1923[181].

[180]

During the 1948 war between Arabs and Jews, the government of Ben Gurion attempted to clear the western part
of Jerusalem from Palestinian citizens and appropriated houses and properties in their neighborhoods (Baqa>a, Qatamon,
Talbiyeh, Lifta and others). Most of these houses and neighborhoods still exist today and are occupied by Jewish settlers.

[181]

PASSIA. Palestine Facts. www.passia.org.

72

The British mandate over Palestine sought to strengthen the authority of Britain in the region
and create the conditions necessary for the fulfillment of the Balfour Declaration, establishing
a Jewish national home in Palestine. The British Mandate recognizes the Jewish agency as a
public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine
in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish
national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine.[182] Despite the fact that
Jews were a minority compared to the Palestinians at the time; the Mandate only addressed
Palestinians civil and religious rights, ignoring their political rights, including their right to
self-determination.[183]
The British government abandoned its authority in Palestine and referred the Palestinian issue
to the United Nations (UN) in April of 1947, once the demographic balance in Palestine was
reversed in favor of Jewish immigrants. At this time, conflict erupted between Arabs and Jews
in Jerusalem, resulting in Jewish immigrants settling in the Western part of the city and Arabs
retaining the population majority in the Eastern section, including the Old City.[184]
Following the discussions of two proposals, known as the majority and minority decisions, the
UN General Assembly passed resolution 181 (D2) of 29 November 1947, endorsing the majority
decision which proposed the creation of two distinct States.
Part III of the Resolution provided for putting Jerusalem under a special international regime for
10 years, considering it a corpus separatum and expanding its boundaries to include the present
municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall
be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim; and the most northern
Shufat.[185] The UN conferred the administration of the City with its new boundaries to an UNaffiliated trusteeship council, which was also commissioned with the task of developing a detailed
statute for the City. The statute aimed to protect and preserve the unique spiritual and religious
interests of the three great monotheistic faiths; to foster cooperation among all the inhabitants of
the city; and to promote the security and well-being of the residents.[186]
The special international regime called for electing a Legislative Council of adult residents of the
city on the basis of secret voting and proportional representation and for the establishment of an
independent judiciary system. In economic terms, the City was to be included in the Economic
Union of Palestine. It was to be neutral and demilitarized and no paramilitary formations, exercises
or activities were to be permitted within its borders, with the exception of police forces to assist in
the maintenance of internal law and order and the protection of the Holy Places within the city.[187]

[182]

The Palestine Mandate of the League of Nation from 1922 (British Mandate for Palestine), Article 4

[183]

According to Article 2 of the mandate instrument, the mandatory was responsible for placing the country under such
political, administrative and economic conditions as woul secure the establishment of the Jewish national home at the expense
of the indigenous Arab population, while the instrument ignored the political rights of the Palestinians by only referring to the
need to safeguard the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

[184]

According to the investigative study by UNSCOP, the area of Jerusalem City housed an estimated number of 102,000
Jews and 150,000 Arabs in December 1946.

[185]

UN General Assembly Resolution No 181, Part III, Section B, Boundaries of the City. UN General Assembly 29
November 1947.

[186]
[187]

The Palestine Mandate of the League of Nation from 1922, (British Mandate for Palestine) Article 11-18.

Under the provisions of the partitioning resolution, the Economic Board of Palestine should consist of three
representatives of each of the two States and three foreign members appointed by the Economic and Social Council of the
United Nations. The Boards task was to conduct measures and develop plans required to achieve economic unity of the
proposed two states in Palestine.

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73

Palestinians objected to the partition plan outlined in Resolution 181, and viewed it as prejudicial
and contradictory to the principles of justice and democracy. The Zionist movement accepted the
resolution in order to establish and cement its presence in the region through the creation of an
independent Jewish State.[188]

Palestine Partition Resolution and Israels Control over West


Jerusalem:
Following Resolution 181, acute disputes arose between the Arab population and the Zionist
movement, leading to a large scale war in Palestine in 1948 and resulting in the partition of
Palestine. As a result, the fate of Palestine, including Jerusalem, was decided by means of military
power. The war undermined the boundaries outlined in the partition plan as the Zionist forces
occupied more than 22% of the territory assigned to the Arab state.[189] Furthermore, Jerusalem
was divided into two parts, with the Zionist movement controlling the western part and displacing
most of its Arab population and Jordan controlling the eastern part of the City.[190]
Members of the Peoples Council and representatives of the Jewish community in Palestine declared
the establishment of Israel on 14 May 1948, stating by virtue of our natural and historic right and
on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, [we] hereby declare the
establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.[191]The following
day, Israel took advantage of the disorder resulting from the withdrawal of British troops from
Palestine and seized all of the Arab neighborhoods in the western part of Jerusalem.[192] On the
other side, Arab armies intervened to blockade the city and isolate it from Jewish settlements. The
battle over Jerusalem concluded with the Jordanian troops controlling the eastern part and the
Israelis the western part.[193]
The UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 creating the Conciliation Commission, tasked
with developing proposals for a permanent international regime for Jerusalem and facilitating the
right of refugees to return to their homes[194]. Resolution 194 also requested the Security Council
to take further steps to ensure the demilitarization of Jerusalem and instructed the Conciliation
Commission to present to the fourth regular session of the General Assembly detailed proposals

[188]
[189]

Henry Cattan. Palestine in the light of Right and Justice. Op. cit., p. 26.
http://zajel.org/article_view.asp?newsID=2767&cat=6,

[190]

In 1948, 38 villages and towns were destroyed in the Jerusalem area, displacing about 73,258 Palestinians. This number
does not include many neighborhoods within the western part of the City, mainly the neighborhoods of Musrarah, Baqa>a,
Talbiyeh, Qatamon, the German Quarter, and the Greek Quarter, where the local residents were forced out and their houses were
appropriated and occupied by Jewish settlers. These houses are still standing today. See Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighborhoods
and their Fate in the War. Editor: Salim Tamari. Published by Institute of Jerusalem Studies and BADIL Resource Center for
Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. (1999).

[191]

Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, 14 May 1948, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/


Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Declaration+of+Establishment+of+State+of+Israel.htm.

[192]

Nathan Krystall, The Fall of the New City in See Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighborhoods and their Fate in the War.
Editor: Salim Tamari. Published by Institute of Jerusalem Studies and BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and
Refugee Rights. (1999) pp 93-100.

[193]

Musa Al-Qudsi Al-Dweik. Jerusalem and the InternationalLlaw. A Study on the Legal Status of the City and the Israeli
Violations of Human Rights,.2002, p. 13. Nizar Ayyoub. The Legal Status of Jerusalem City Between the Mandate and Political
settlement. Published by Al-Haq, Ramallah, 2001. p. 35.

[194]

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (III)11 December 1948.

74

for a permanent international regime for the Jerusalem area which will provide for the maximum
local autonomy for distinctive groups consistent with the special international status of the
Jerusalem area.[195]
The Conciliation Commission established a special committee on Jerusalem to carry out
consultations with representatives of Arab governments and the different religious groups in
Jerusalem. Arab agencies and delegations expressed a willingness to accept an international regime
in Jerusalem, provided that the UN would present guarantees for the stability and durability of
such a regime.[196] Unwilling to withdraw from the areas it occupied illegally, including the western
part of Jerusalem, Israel refused to accept an international regime in the city as provided for in
Resolutions 181 and 194, and accepted the international regime only in Holy Places.[197]
The Jordanian authorities declared the annexation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,
on 24 April 1950.[198] The British government recognized the annexation and extended its mutual
defense agreement with Jordan to include the West Bank and East Jerusalem. On 1 April 1950,
the first parliamentary elections to include both sides of Jordan River were held and the Jordanian
National Assembly consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the House of Senators adopted a
resolution to unify the two sides of Jordan River Palestine and Jordan within the Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan. East Jerusalem remained under the Jordanian rule up to 7 June 1967.[199]
Subsequent UN efforts spanning over two decades failed to apply the special international regime
in Jerusalem, partly due to the unconditional Israeli rejection of the regime. At the same time,
Israeli measures continuously undermined the efforts of the Conciliation Commission by creating
facts on the ground to ensure UN acceptance of Israeli control over the western part of the city.
Following the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in June 1967, the
Commission explained the complex developments taking place in and around Jerusalem to the
General Assembly and declared its inability to undertake any further efforts in this regard.

Israels Occupation and Annexation of East Jerusalem:


Immediately after ensuring control over the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem,
the occupying Israeli authorities implemented a series of policies that initiated the widespread
confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of illegal settlements and transfer of Jewish
settlers into the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). East Jerusalem was particularly targeted by
these measures, as the occupying authorities immediately started to implement policies aimed at
undermining the citys Arab character by expelling its Arab residents, isolating the city from the
rest of the oPt, and finally, by illegally annexing the City. These goals were revealed on 7 June

[195]

UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (D3), 11 December 1948. The Conciliation Commission consisting of France,
Turkey and the USA was assigned the task to facilitate the return of refugees to their homes or the payment of compensation
for those wishing not to return.

[196]

United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine. Report: October 23, 1950.

[197]

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israels+Foreign+Relations+since+1947/1947-1974/Jerusalem+and+the+Holy+Places++Introduction.htm

[198]
[199]

http://www.jcpa.org/art/knesset6.htm; http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948to1967_jordan_annex.php

It should be noted that the annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Jordan was recognized by two states only:
UK and Pakistan.

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Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

75

1967 by the Israeli Defense Minister at the time, Moshe Dayan, who explicitly described Israels
policy to retain control of occupied Jerusalem by saying, the Israeli Defense Forces have liberated
Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our
Holy Places, never to part from it again.[200]
To realize Dayans statement, the Israeli Government held a meeting on 11 June 1967, where they
unanimously agreed to annex the city and assigned a special control committee to develop and
implement the necessary steps in this direction. In this regard, the committee presented three draft
laws to the Israeli Government: the Law and Administration Ordinance (Amendment No. 11)
Law of 1967; the Municipalities (Amendment No. 8) Law of 1967; and the Protection of Holy
Places Law of 1967.[201]
The draft laws were presented to the Israeli Knesset and were approved on 25 June 1967. The
following day, the Israeli government issued the Law and Administration Ordinance No. 1 of
1967, which established Israeli judicial and administrative jurisdiction on East Jerusalem. In his
speech to the Knesset, the Israeli Minister of Justice stated that the Israeli army has liberated many
areas from the rule of strangers and there is a need to take measures to establish sovereignty over
them and apply Israeli jurisdiction on them.[202]
According to the Law and Administration Ordinance, Israel extended its judicial and
administrative jurisdiction on areas of the Old City, Sur Baher, Sheikh Jarrah, Kalandia airport,
Jabal Al-Mukabber, Shufat, Wadi Al-Joz, Eisawiyeh, and Beit Hanina.[203] In addition, the Israeli
Interior Minister issued the Jerusalem Declaration providing for the expansion of powers of
Jerusalem municipality to include East Jerusalem and adjacent villages and towns, including
the Old City, and thus, effectively placing occupied Jerusalem under the authority of the Israeli
municipality of Jerusalem.
The United Nations objected to the three laws and associated decrees, which aimed at altering
the situation of the City from the status quo prior to the occupation. The UN adopted a number
of resolutions calling upon Israel, the occupying power, to desist from taking any action that
may alter the status of Jerusalem. Such resolutions include the UN General Assembly Resolution
No. 2253 (ES-V), which called upon Israel to rescind all measures already taken and to desist
forthwith from taking action which would alter the status of Jerusalem, considering these
measures invalid.[204] Additionally, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution
242, which emphasizes the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need
to work for a just a lasting peace, which should include withdrawal of Israel armed forces from
territories occupied in the recent conflict.[205]

[200]

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, Statement at the Western Wall, June 7, 1967.

[201]

Ossama Halabi. Space and People: Geographic and Demographic Dimensions in Israels Policy towards East Jerusalem in the
period 1967-2000.Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, and Ossama Halabi. Israeli Laws and Judicial System as
Tools for Accomplishing Political Objectives,.CCDPRJ, 2006.
[202]

Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: The torn city. Jerusalem 1976, p. 10.

[203]

Osama Halabi.Jerusalem - the Effects of Israels Annexation of Jerusalem on the Rights and Position of its Arab Population.
http://www.ccdprj.ps/en/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/israelilawsandjudicialsystem

[204]

In view of Israel>s failure to abide by this resolution, the UN and its agencies have taken dozens of other resolutions
that have never been implemented, including the Resolution 2254 (D5). http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/repertoire/69-71/6971_12.pdf

[205]

United Nations Security Council, Resolution 242, 22 November 1967.

76

Opposition towards Israeli policies by the international community has been limited to formalities.
In light of the new realities resulting from Israels occupation of East Jerusalem, the international
and Arab position calling for the application of a special international regime on Jerusalem City
in line with the UN General Assembly resolution No. 181 began to fade, allowing various nonharmonized positions to appear. The United States of America (USA) abandoned its support of
establishing a special international regime and adopted a different position, indicating that the
status of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations between the Jews and Arabs.[206]
Israel continued to ignore the international community and their accompanying resolutions and
take steps towards Judaizing Jerusalem by building settlements and transferring Jewish settlers to
these settlements, while simultaneously, employing numerous measures to minimize the Palestinian
presence in the City. Following the development of the legal framework for the annexation of the
City, the Israeli occupying authorities began implementing facts on the ground to reinforce their
control over Jerusalem and the Jerusalemites by appropriating and confiscating lands, constructing
Jewish settlements, isolating the City from the rest of the oPt, and restricting the livelihoods and
living conditions of the Palestinians to force them out of the City. Examples of this include ID
revocation, the policy of house demolition, and most recently, the construction of the Annexation
Wall in and around East Jerusalem.
One of the most serious actions in this direction was the Knessets approval on 30 July 1980 of the
Basic Law Jerusalem the Capital of Israel, which explicitly demonstrated the Israeli intentions
aimed at annexing and Judaizing the City, and confirmed international concerns regarding Israeli
measures within occupied Jerusalem .The law stated that Jerusalem, complete and united, is
the capital of Israel and provided for strengthening the presence of official State institutions in
Jerusalem, including the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government and the
Supreme Court. The law also required the Israeli government to provide for the development of
Jerusalem by allocating a special annual grant to the Municipality of Jerusalem[207].
The Israeli decision to annex East Jerusalem was met with strong objection by the international
community, including the UN and numerous international governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The UN Security Council issued resolution No. 478, expressing
strong condemnation of Israels annexation of Jerusalem and its refusal to respect and comply
with international resolutions concerning Jerusalem and the rest of the oPt. It considered the
enactment of the Basic Law as a violation of international law, indicating that the Council
does not recognize the Basic Law and such other actions by Israel that seek to alter the status
of Jerusalem. It called upon all members of the UN to accept Resolution No. 478 as well as
called upon those states that have established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw
such missions from the City.[208] Consequently, all the 13 states that had diplomatic missions in
Jerusalem withdrew them from the City.[209]

[206]

Jerusalem and US Policy, Information Booklet, PASSIA, 1991, p. 32.

[207]

Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel. Passed by the Knesset on 30 July 1980. Accessed at http://www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/
eng/basic10_eng.htm
[208]

Security Council Resolution 478, 1980, adopted with 14 members voting in favor and 1 (the United States of America)
abstaining.

[209]

Three Governments (Ecuador, Chile and Venezuela) withdrew their embassies prior to the adoption of the SC Resolution
No. 478 (1980). The remaining 10 governments (Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, Holland, Guatemala, Dominican
Republic, and Uruguay) withdrew their embassies in response to the SC resolution. However, Salvador and Costa Rica moved
their embassies back to West Jerusalem later.

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77

Israeli Measures Against Palestinian Citizens in Occupied Jerusalem


The application of Israeli law to East Jerusalem as a result of its annexation to Israel has led
to the denial of Palestinians right to residency in Jerusalem and has caused the disintegration
of Palestinian families, the obstruction of family unification and severe restrictions related to
the registration of newborns, access to education, delivery of health, social and other services,
housing and construction.[210]
All Palestinians, and Jerusalemites in particular, have become extremely vulnerable to Israeli
policies and measures, including legislation adopted to undermine the social fabric and economic
structure of the city, disintegrate Palestinian Jerusalemite families and deprive them from essential
requirements to ensure an adequate standard of living. As a result, Palestinian families in Jerusalem
have been facing the daily struggle to defend their rights, primarily the right to live in Jerusalem
in dignity, and the rights to housing, education and health.

1. Means Used to Deprive Palestinians of the Right to Residency


in Jerusalem:
Following the illegal annexation of Jerusalem, the occupying authorities initiated a register for its
Palestinian residents, who were dealt with as permanent residents in Israel; provided they could
prove they were actually living in the City and were present during the registration. Conditions
imposed by the occupying authorities to allow Palestinians to live in Jerusalem represented the initial
steps towards the goal of reducing the proportion of Palestinians in the City. The right to residency
was restricted to those who were present in the City during the census, while those living outside the
city at that time were automatically excluded, including those living outside the municipal borders
as delineated by the Israeli interior ministry in June 1967. As a result, these families were denied the
status of permanent residents and were not allowed to return back to their homes.
The Israeli authorities granted the right to permanent residency only to those Palestinians that
were present in Jerusalem in 1967 according to the provisions of the entry to Israel law of 1952.
Palestinian Jerusalemites were and still are considered residents in Israel and not citizens, which
means they are not entitled to the permanent rights ensured by the nationality laws, and thus they
are forced to comply with conditions required for residency in Israel similar to foreign nationals
coming from abroad under the aforementioned 1952 law.[211]
Since then, whenever Palestinians leave Jerusalem to live abroad or in the West Bank or Gaza
Strip for a relatively long period of time, they risk losing their right to permanent residency in
the City; this is particularly so considering the subsequent Entry to Israel law of 1974 entitles the
Interior Minister to simply cancel residency, whether it is temporary or permanent.[212] In addition,
article 11(a) of the provisions of the Entry to Israel law stipulates that permanent residency is
forfeited when its holder lives in a foreign country for seven years, obtains permanent residency
in a foreign country or becomes a national of a foreign country, which also includes Palestinians

[210]

Musa Al-Qudsi Al-Dweik. Jerusalem and the international law. A Study on the Legal Status of the City and the Israeli
Violations of Human Rights, 2002, p. 53.

[211]

Ibid, pp. 60-61.

[212]

Entry to Israel Law of 1974, articles 10-11.

78

living outside the municipal borders of Jerusalem as delineated by the Israeli authorities following
the occupation of the City.[213]
This policy continued up to the year 1988, when the Israeli Supreme Court issued its ruling in
Mubarak Awads case, employing a new criterion domicile as a condition for Palestinians to
maintain their permanent residency status in Jerusalem. Based on this principle, the Israeli interior
ministry acquired the authority to withdraw the Jerusalem ID cards from Palestinians who are
proved to be living outside the city and their domicile proves to be outside the municipal borders
even if for less than seven years.[214]
Starting from 1995, the Israeli authorities have employed these measures on a large scale, applying
strict measures against Palestinians living outside the City and creating various obstacles to
undermine their right to residency and prevent them from returning to Jerusalem. Such measures
have affected tens of thousands of Palestinians who were forced by difficult housing conditions in
the City to live in adjacent neighborhoods. The same problems were faced by Jerusalemites living
outside Jerusalem with spouses who do not hold a Jerusalem ID and whose requests for family
unification and child registration have become almost impossible to get approval for. As a result,
thousands of families have been fragmented, and thus an equal number of Palestinians have been
subjected to forced migration from the City.[215]
In addition, the National Insurance Agency has since 1984 begun to impose strict measures
against Jerusalemites, withholding the different social security allowances for those Palestinians
who moved to live outside the municipal borders. These measures have deprived children born
in areas outside the municipal borders and in adjacent suburbs from all social benefits. This step
has been supported by the Israeli judiciary and the Israeli Supreme Court, which ruled in 1993
in favor of depriving Jerusalemites residing outside the municipal borders from benefits and
services offered by the National Insurance Agency.[216]
To justify these measures, the Israeli authorities resort to false pretexts and distorted arguments
that contravene international law and human rights standards, claiming that these children forfeit
their rights because they were born or have long been living outside the occupied territories, that
their domicile is not in Jerusalem or that they have been absent from the city for a period exceeding
seven consecutive years. Such claims constitute a serious violation of the rights of these residents,
especially the children, to maintain their family relations, and belonging to their City and identity.
This in turn is considered a breach of a childs right to normal growth and development and their
rights to education, health and social services.[217]

[213]

http://www.e-xam.at/pdf/art11aIsl.pdf; http://www.pij.org/details.php?id=505

[214]

Mubarak Awad vs. Prime Minister and Interior Minister in Israel.. Israeli Supreme Court No. 282/88.. See, Ossama Halabi.
Israeli Laws and Judicial System as Tools for Accomplishing Political Objectives, op. cit., pp. 10-11, and Space and People, op. cit.
pp. 38-39.

[215]

According to the joint report published in October 2006 by B>Tselem and Center for the Defense of the Individual and
HaMoked, the Israeli occupying authorities have been denying family unification of Palestinians in the oPt with their spouses
from outside the territories for over six years. Since the beginning of the second Intifada, over 120,000 applications for family
unifications have been submitted to the Israeli authorities, who have consistently failed to consider and process them, except for
very few cases that have been processed as special humanitarian cases. In this regard, see the above-mentioned report titled,
Perpetual Limbo: Israel>s Freeze on Unification of Palestinian Families in the Occupied Territories.

[216]

Ossama Halabi. Israeli Laws and Judicial System, op. cit, p. 11, Musa Al-Qudsi Al-Dweik, op. cit, pp. 48-49. Hanadi AlZghayar. Silent Displacement: Cancellation of Palestinian Residency in Jerusalem, Preliminary Report, Arab Thought Forum, May
2007. pp. 22-23.

[217]

Convention on the Rights of the Child, Preamble, article 5, 6, 8, 17, 18, ,

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Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

79

2. The Impact of the Nationality and Entry to Israel Law of


2003 on Palestinians:
In May 2002, the Israeli Government adopted resolution 1813 in regard to addressing the issues
of illegal residents in Israel and policy of unification of families, who have a member of Palestinian
origin or from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[218] This resolution provided for the inapplicability
of nationality or permanent residency to spouses of persons with Israeli nationality or permanent
residency, when the spouses have Palestinian origins or are Palestinian residents of the occupied
territories.[219]
The resolution states, inter alia, that no applications for legal status shall be made for Palestinians
from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA), or individuals from Palestinian origins,
and that no applications currently on hold at the interior ministries shall be approved to grant
legal status to spouses of Arabs in Israel, who are either residents of PA areas or from Palestinian
origins.[220] In cases where such spouses have already obtained a permit for status, such status shall
not be advanced to a higher level and shall be frozen, for example keeping temporary resident as
temporary and not advancing the status to that of permanent resident.[221]
The resolution is indisputably targeted at Palestinians wherever they happen to be (in Israel, the oPt,
or abroad) as it applies exclusively to Palestinians and those of Palestinian origins, and allows nonPalestinians and those of non-Palestinian origins to proceed with their applications for obtaining
Israeli nationality and/or permanent residency when they are married to Israeli spouses.[222]
The Israeli government transformed this resolution into law on 31 July 2003 by enacting the
Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (temporary order) of 2003, which prevents Palestinians and
persons of Palestinian origins married to Israeli citizens or holders of permanent residency in Israel
from living with their spouses in Israel.[223] In view of the illegal annexation of Jerusalem and Israeli
treatment of the City as part of Israel, this law basically affects Jerusalemites and their children
born outside the City, denying them the right to register at the Israeli interior ministry. In practice,
this law has meant a total freezing of family unification measures.
This law has been periodically extended since its implementation and is still in force today. Under
an amendment made on 27 July 2005, a chance was allowed to apply for family unification for
non-Jerusalemite wives who are 25 years or older and non-Jerusalemite husbands who are 35 years
or older. The situation for those under this age remains the same. The Israeli authorities justified

[218]

Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Ban of Family Unification http://www.adalah.org/eng/famunif.
php,http://www.adalah.org/features/famuni/2002H_1813government_decision.pdf. (2007).
[219]

Through the annexation of East Jerusalem, the Israeli occupying authorities deal with the occupied City and its Palestinian
residents holding permanent residency status as part of Israel. This move is unlawful and in breach of international law. The Israeli
authorities consider this resolution as applicable to Jerusalem and its residents, thus freezing all family unification processes.

[220]

Supra, note 39.

[221]

Upon the promulgation of this resolution, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel appealed to the
Supreme Court against the Israeli government>s resolution in regard to the unification of 14 families. The appeal contested
the legality of the resolution on the basis of its clear discrimination against Palestinian citizens in Israel on an ethnic basis and
violates their constitutional and human rights to build a family life with their spouses based on their own choices and/or with
their young children on equal footing with all human beings.

[222]
[223]

Supra, note 39.


Supra, note 39.

80

this by claiming that persons under these ages have carried out attacks inside Israel.[224] This law
has deprived thousands of Palestinian families in the oPt, including Jerusalem, and in Israel from
their basic rights to family life. This is especially in light of the fact that the family is considered
the main unit in the social fabric and the natural environment for the growth and wellbeing of all
its members, particularly children. Family should be offered all protection and support in order
to be able to successfully undertake its responsibilities within the society.
The Nationality Law specifically targets Palestinians and persons of Palestinian origins, freezing
family unification applications of Palestinians from both sides of the Green Line and in occupied
Jerusalem, imposing very strict restrictions.[225] As a result, family unification and child registration
became almost impossible and Palestinian families became disintegrated, deprived of their right
to live together in a safe and sound family environment. Furthermore, Palestinians became forced
to migrate from areas where they are unwanted to areas behind the Wall or to leave the country
altogether, which serves the discriminatory policies of the Israeli authorities aiming to reduce the
proportion of Palestinians and increase the proportion of Jews.[226]
The Nationality Law also denies children with one parent from Israel and the other from the
occupied territories the right to have permanent legal status in Israel. Specifically, the law also only
allows Palestinian children aged 14-18 years to obtain a temporary permit to stay in Israel for a
maximum period of 6 months, without social benefits, even when the child lives with his or her
parent that has Israeli nationality.[227] Children under the age of 14 can obtain a permit from the
interior ministry for temporary residence in Jerusalem or inside Israel, valid for two years only and
entitling the child to enjoy all benefits and rights equal to citizens (social security benefits, health
insurance, etc). Such permits are only granted, provided that adequate proof is submitted that the
childs domicile is in Israel.[228]
It should be noted that the fate of these children when they reach the age of 18 is unclear.
Will they be able then to obtain permits to stay with their parents? Will the authorities deny
them such permits, forcing them to leave their houses in Israel or the occupied Jerusalem?
Or will they continue to live in their houses and with their families under a consistent threat
of being evicted to the occupied territories? Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child (CRC), applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State for the
purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by State Parties in a positive, human and
expeditious manner.[229]

[224]

Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Amendment ).Compilation of Israeli Laws, 2005 volume, No. 2018 (published on
10 August 2005).

[225]

Supra, note 39.

[226]

Report No.4, Local Outline Plan Jerusalem 2000, Proposed Plan and the Main Planning Polices, Planning Administration,
City Engineer, City Planning Department, Jerusalem Municipality, 2000.
[227]

Supra, note 39.

[228]

79 Supra, note 45.

[229]

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child. GA Res 44/25. (1989). Art 10.

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Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

81

3. The Supreme Court Support for the Policies of Residency


Cancellation and Freezing of Family Unification:
Measures to isolate Jerusalem and reduce the proportion of Palestinians in the City have been
continuously supported by the Israeli Supreme Court. For example, in Mubarak Awad vs. the
Prime Minister[230], the judges corroborated the decision of the interior minister to withdraw
the permanent residency of Mubarak Awad (withdrawal of the Israeli ID cards from Palestinian
residents of Jerusalem) because he left Jerusalem to the United States to pursue his studies, married
there and obtained American citizenship.[231]
Following the Knessets approval of the Nationality and Entry to Israel law, several Palestinian and
Israeli human rights organizations appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, contesting the legality
of the law and calling for its revocation based on its violation of international human rights
law, in particular, racial discrimination through its specific targeting of Palestinians. However, the
Supreme Court rejected these appeals.[232]
Six out of the 11 judges agreed with the appellants claim that the provisions of the law violate
the basic rights to family life and equality, however, they accepted the official pretexts and
justifications submitted by the authorities, claiming that the law is invoked by security needs[233]. A
majority of six judges against five rejected the appeal submitted by the human rights organization
Adalah, as well as six other associated appeals, including that of the Association for Civil Rights in
Israel. They all appealed for the cancellation of the Nationality and Entry to Israel law (temporary
order) 2003 based on its violation of the right of Israeli citizens to family unification with their
Palestinian spouses from the oPt.[234]
Justice Heshen, who was then the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, expressed the opinion
of the majority, claiming that the citizens of the State of Israel have no constitutional right to
request the court to revoke a law approved by the Knesset in regards to denying their foreign
spouses a legal status in Israel.[235] Furthermore, Justice Heshen considered that the right to ones
dignity does not entail any legal duty on the part of the State to allow foreigners married to Israeli
citizens to enter Israel; according to Justice Heshen, the fact of war against the Palestinian
Authority was an adequate justification to enact this law in order to prevent the entry of hostile
elements to Israel[236]. Similarly Justice Levy recognized that the law is unconstitutional although
held that appeals should be rejected in order to allow the Knesset a chance to amend the law.[237]

[230]
[231]

Mubarak Awad vs. Prime Minister and Interior Minister. Israeli Supreme Court No. 282/88..
http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_17.html

[232]

These appeals were submitted by Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and HaMoked The Center
for the Defense of the Individual. The appeal submitted by HaMoked stressed on the damage inflicted to Palestinians in East
Jerusalem who are married to spouses living elsewhere in the oPt (outside the borders of Jerusalem as delineated by Jerusalem
municipality following the annexation of the city). It should be noted that in issuing their ruling, the judges neglected the issue
of threat caused by the law to the fate of children.

[233]

Mubarak Awad vs. Prime Minister and Interior Minister in Israel.Decision of Israeli Supreme Court No. 282/88.

[234]

The Israeli politicians, officials and government members did not conceal the real aims of this law. They publicly stated that
the purpose of this law is first and foremost demographic, i.e., to limit the proportion of Arab population in Israel and maintain
the Jewish majority. This proves the Supreme Court>s lack of independence by their giving legitimacy to the official policies
of consecutive Israeli governments, whether related to Palestinians in the oPt or inside the Green Line.

[235]

Supra, note 59.

[236]

Ibid.

[237]

Ibid.

82

The remaining judges within the majority acknowledged that the law violates the constitutional
rights but thought it fit well with the desired outcome.[238]
The President of the Supreme Court, Justice Aharon Barak, representing the minority position,
considered that the issue at stake is related to the right of Israeli citizens to equality and practice
of their family life under the provisions of the basic law on humans dignity and liberty, which
entitles Israeli citizens to practice their family life with their spouses in Israel. Justice Barak
added, here are their houses and their communities, here are their historic, cultural and social
roots this is targeted at Arab citizens in Israel. The outcome of the law is the violation of the
right of this group to equality. The minority judges acknowledged that the law is not relative
as it abolishes the possibility to examine each case on a one-by-one basis and violates the rights
collectively and arbitrarily.[239] Based on this, Justice Barak concluded that the law should be
revoked based on its unconstitutionality.[240]

Cancellation of Residency Rights of Palestinian Jerusalemites


and International Law:
The cancellation of Palestinians rights to residency in Jerusalem has serious consequences not
only for Jerusalemites, but also for all Palestinians who have an inherent right to live in the City
and access it freely. Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel
in 1967. All measures taken by the Israeli authorities to alter the legal status of the City and its
Palestinian residents are invalid as they are in breach of international law, namely the Fourth
Geneva Convention of 1949.
These measures cause suffering to all Palestinians, affecting women and children in particular. Tens
of thousands of families have been directly affected: couples cannot live under one roof, with one
of them staying in occupied Jerusalem, in Israel or abroad and the other in Gaza or the West Bank.
Children are being raised in the absence of one of their parents. Many people are afraid to travel
abroad, including for medical treatment, fearing that they will not be allowed to return to their
families. All of these conditions lead to grave violations of international human rights law and the
provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
Everyones right to their country is inherent and basic. It is recognized and documented in Article
13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which states that Everyone has the
right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. The same applies
to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that
Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to
liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

[238]

Ibid.

[239]

Ibid.

[240]

Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel considers this case an illustration of the Court supporting the
most racist law in the state of Israel, which prevents family unification on an ethnic Arab Palestinian basis. By comparison,
Adalah Center notes that in 1980, in the peak of the Apartheid system, the Court in South Africa refused to endorse orders
similar to the Israeli law because they violated family rights. Advocate Hassan Jabarin, Chairman of Adalah Center stated, In
this way the Supreme Court has established three citizenship tracks on ethnic basis: a direct track for Jews under the right to
return, an intermediate track for foreigners based on gradual procedures and the most difficult track for Arab citizens.

CHAPTER THREE

Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

83

By adopting these policies, Israel is in breach of its obligations under these international instruments
and is violating the principle of non-discrimination a binding rule under international law.
Israeli policies on residency and family unification entail evident discrimination against the
Palestinian residents of Jerusalem in the first place and constitute a violation of the principle
stating that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the
equal protection of the law.
These policies entail a grave violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR) that provides for the protection of the family as the natural and fundamental group unit
of society, and recognizes the right of the family to enjoy protection by society and the state and
the right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and raise a family.[241] The International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) also recognizes the importance of
the family, to whom the widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded, particularly
while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children.[242]
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) confirms the right from birth to a name,
the right to acquire a nationality, and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by
his or her parents. The CRC also provides for the exclusion of any unlawful interference or
reason that may affect the obligation of States Parties to respect the right of the child to preserve
his or her identity, nationality, name and family relations. Therefore, these policies are clearly
in breach of the provisions of the CRC, which considers the family as the fundamental group
of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and
particularly children and recognizes that the child should grow up in a family environment. [243]
The CRC also gives special attention to citizenship and the legal status of the child in the society
and the state, where he or she can enjoy protection and social services and securities provided
by the state to its citizens.
Being a State Party to the CRC, Israel is legally obliged to respect the Conventions provisions and
rules and to halt its ongoing violations of the Palestinians rights to reside in Jerusalem. Israel must
also cancel the freeze on the unification of separated Palestinian families and child registration,
which constitutes a violation of its obligations under article 10 of the CRC, stating, applications
by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification
shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner.(CITATION)
States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse
consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family. [244]
The Israeli policies in regard to freezing the unification of Palestinian families living across the Green
Line entail grave violations of the rights of Palestinian children, contributing to the disintegration
of Palestinian families. Thousands of children are forced to live away from one or both parents due
to Israels rejection of family unification applications and failure to process applications submitted
prior to 2002 based on discriminatory Nationality and Entry to Israel law, which creates an
environment conducive for forced displacement and eviction.

[241]

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child. GA Res 44/25. (1989). Art 10.

[242]

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. GA Res 2200A (1966). Article10.

[243]

Supra, note 62, Preamble.

[244]

Supra, note 62.

84

It is evident that these policies cause harm to the best interests of the child, a basic principle
enshrined in international and national laws[245], obligating States to give priority to the best
interests of the child in all policies related to the children living within their jurisdiction and
authority. This principle requires allowing all children within the States jurisdiction to grow and
live in a stable and supportive family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and
cooperation. By revoking the right to obtain permanent resident status in Israel, the Nationality
law constitutes a serious violation of the rights of these children and their families to a family life.
In addition, it affects the ability of parents to fulfill their obligations towards their children.
The Nationality Law also discriminates between children of Palestinian citizens or residents in
Israel and children of non-Palestinian citizens and residents of Israel. Moreover, the application
of the law to children, who do not constitute a threat to public safety, exposes the real purpose
of this law, to minimize the Arab population within Jerusalem and Israel generally, and not for
security reasons, as official sources claim.
Policies and associated measures adopted by the Israeli occupying authorities deprive tens of thousands
of Palestinian Jerusalemites from living in the city and deprive any Palestinian or any person of
Palestinian origin from entering the occupied City and residing within it. Restrictions imposed on
family unification and on Palestinians residency in Jerusalem have deprived thousands of children
from their IDs as they have to live with the parent who does not hold the Jerusalem ID and cannot stay
and reside in the City with their whole family. When children remain outside Jerusalem with parents
not holding Jerusalem IDs, they also become vulnerable to losing their right to residency in the City.

Ethnic Cleansing and Forced Displacement


I support forced transfer and see nothing unethical in it.
David Ben-Gurion, addressing the Jewish Agency Executive Committee, June 1938.[246]
Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names
of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist,
not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either.[247]
Moshe Dayan addressing the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa (as quoted in
Haaretz, 4 April 1969).
Many decision-makers, politicians, lawyers and researchers refuse to use the term ethnic cleansing
to describe the ongoing policies and practices of Zionist and Israeli political and military leaders
against Palestinians since 1948. Te policies have aimed to uproot the Palestinians from their lands
and replace them with Jewish settlers. These individuals or groups hold that ethnic cleansing is a
serious accusation that is difficult to verify and prove, in particular because international law has
not yet reached a legal definition of the concept ethnic cleansing.

[245]

Including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child. GA Res 44/25. (1989), Article 3.

[246]

Central Zionist Archives, minutes of the meeting of Jewish Agency Executive, 12 June 1938. Quoted from: The Ethnic
Cleansing of Palestine, by the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, p.1.

[247]

Walid Khalidi ed..All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Institute for
Palestine Studies. 1992.

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Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

85

This position however is held by those who are not willing to admit that Israel, as a democratic
state, is committing acts of cleansing against the Palestinians. This is despite the clear calls
and orders issued by the Zionist leaders to Jewish militants in the 1948 war to cleanse the
land of its Arab population in order to replace them with Jewish settlers. Since 1948, recurrent
statements by various Israeli leaders warn of the demographic threats facing Israel that would
affect the Jewish majority of the state. The same leaders issue associated calls and approve actions
to reduce the proportion of Arabs and increase that of Jews in Israel and occupied Jerusalem,
including by means of transfer. These statements, calls, and actions clearly show the specific and
stated aims of the leaders of Israel and the Zionist movement, to cleanse the country of Arabs
just because they are Arabs. [248]

Definition of ethnic cleansing:


The term ethnic cleansing first appeared at the end of World War II, when the Czechs and Polish
started to publicly call for the need to cleanse their countries of Germans and Ukrainians. Prior
to this, however, the Nazis used to call for making the German lands free of Jews in their healthrelated programs.[249] The term started to appear more often and seriously in discussions in 1981
by the media in the former Yugoslavia for making the Kosovo region ethnically homogeneous.[250]
Following the outbreak of the Bosnia and Herzegovina war in the former Yugoslavia, efforts have
been exerted to define ethnic cleansing within the many reports published on this war and its
associated acts and practices. As a result, ethnic cleansing became well-defined and was considered
a punishable crime within this context, although there is still a complete absence of an international
convention banning all forms of ethnic cleansing.
In Hutchinson encyclopedia, ethnic cleansing is defined as the forced expulsion of one ethnic
group by another to create a homogeneous population in a multi-ethnic territory or region.
The aim of this expulsion is to transfer the largest possible number of people by using various
means, including non-violent means, such as the case with Muslims in Croatia, who were expelled
following the signing of Dayton agreement in 1995.[251]
Reports by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Committee on Human Rights on the former
Yugoslavia between 1993 and 1994 included a number of acts and practices that were considered
a form of ethnic cleansing. Such practices include various administrative measures such as bringing
an elected authority down by force, dismissal from work, in particular from influential positions,
restriction of access to humanitarian aid, resettlement of refugees from a certain ethnicity in the
region being cleansed, enactment of legislations entailing discrimination and oppression, forcing
people wishing to leave the region to take their families with them, and preventing women of a
certain ethnicity from giving birth in hospitals.[252] Other acts and measures potentially constituting

[248]

Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions (ICAHD). http://www.icahd.org/eng/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=


2&article=311. (2006).

[249]

Mark Kramer. Introduction, in Mark Kramer, ed., Rewarding Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe,
Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, p. 1.

[250]
[251]
[252]

Drazen Petrovic, Ethnic Cleansing-An Attempt to Methodology, (1994) 5 Eur. J . Intl L. 343.
Ilan Pappe. Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Beirut, 2007, p. 9.

Supra, note 80; Jacques Semelin. Analysis of Mass Crime: Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia. Montreal Institute
for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. http://migs.concordia.ca/occpapers/semelin.html.(2000)

86

ethnic cleansing entail intimidation of civilians by soldiers or armed civilians, including acts of
looting, terrifying people in the streets, arbitrary arrest, abuse and transfer of people to prisons and
detention centers, targeting of civilians by shooting at them or destroying their houses, and group
transfer of specific populations.[253]
Ethnic cleansing may also take place during military operations, such as the deliberate killing
or torturing of civilian leaders, including religious and political leaders, scientists, academics
and businessmen, imposing siege on towns and villages, planned attacks to prevent access to
humanitarian aid, targeting of residential areas and infrastructure by shelling, and retaliation
from civilians and leaders.. All these acts constitute violations of human rights and the rules and
provisions of international law and, depending on the specific case, can be considered a form of
ethnic cleansing.[254]
The Special Rapporteur of the UN Committee on Human Rights concluded that the main purpose
of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was to carry out ethnic cleansing in order to establish
ethnic homogeneity in the region, and that the purpose of ethnic cleansing could be short term
or long term. The short term purpose of ethnic cleansing is to seize actual control of the region
for military and strategic reasons, while the long term purpose is to create living conditions that
make it impossible for the displaced groups to return home and thus effect a change in the ethnic
composition of the population based on the regions theories of unity and ethnic homogeneity.[255]
Therefore, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Committee on Human Rights stated in his report
issued on 17 November 1992 that the description of ethnic cleansing means the removal by
an ethnic group controlling a region of other ethnic groups. The Rapporteur stated in his sixth
report that ethnic cleansing is the cleansing of civilians on an ethnic basis to force them to flee
the region where they live.[256]
There are many other definitions of ethnic cleansing, the most prominent developed by the
experts committee in its first interim report, where they concurred on the opinion that
taking into consideration the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, ethnic cleansing means
making the region ethnically homogeneous by using force and intimidation to displace
people of a certain group from the region.In a historical overview of ethnic cleansing, scholar
Bell-Fialkoff maintains that ethnic cleansing can be seen as expelling the unwanted
population from a region for reasons related to discrimination on ethnic or religious basis
and for political, strategic or ideological considerations or for all these elements together.[257]
All of the aforementioned definitions entail certain elements that provide for a common opinion
on ethnic cleansing, viewing it as aiming to create ethnic homogeneity in a multiethnic region
through the expulsion of the unwanted ethnic group(s) using various means (administrative,
military, intimidation and media), turning the unwanted ethnic group(s) into refugees and
making it impossible for them to return based on the claimed need to restrict the population in
the region to a specific main ethnicity.

[253]

Bob Myers. Against Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia. http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/inter/seattle/yugoslavia.


html (2001) .
[254]

Supra, note 80.

[255]

Second Mazowiecki Report, at 2, Point 1. Third Mazowiecki Report, at 3, Point 6. Drozen Patrovic, P. 9.

[256]

Supra, note 80, p. 10.

[257]

Bell-Fialkoff. A Brief History of Ethnic Cleansing, Foreign Affairs. Vol. 72, No. 3 (1993) 110.

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Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

87

Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem:


$IWHU H[DPLQLQJ WKH GHQLWLRQV RI HWKQLF FOHDQVLQJ DQG ORRNLQJ DW H[DPSOHV RI WKH
cleansing of some ethnic groups from a territory to create ethnic homogeneity, the
description of ethnic cleansing applies to the policies employed by the Zionist leaders
in Palestine during the 1948 war as they were aimed at cleansing the majority of the
territories from Arabs in order to create an ethnic homogeneity restricted to Jews.
Following the declaration of the establishment of the Jewish state on the eve of 14 May 1948, the
forces in the field were repeatedly using the Hebrew term Tihour, which means cleansing.[258]
The higher leadership of the Zionist movement selected this expression to charge and provoke the
soldiers before they were sent to occupy the Palestinian urban and rural areas, cleanse them from
Arabs, appropriate and loot their properties and/or destroy them altogether.
Jerusalem City and its surrounding villages and towns were in particular subjected to a large
scale ethnic cleansing process. In this regard, the historian Salim Tamari stated that out of 40
villages in Jerusalem district that remained under Israeli control after the signing of the truce
agreement in 1949, the population of 38 of the villages was displaced, which at the time
amounted to approximately 73,258 people.[259] This number does not include the residents of Arab
neighborhoods in the western part of the City, which was also occupied and cleansed completely
of the Arab population, and whose houses were appropriated and properties looted. According to
some historians, the Arab neighborhoods in the western part of Jerusalem used to be among the
richest and most prosperous neighborhoods in the Middle East prior to 1948.[260]
The policy of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Palestinians continued after Israels
occupation of the Palestinian territories during the 1967 war. The resulting tragedy has mainly
affected the population of the Old City of Jerusalem.[261] The Israeli authorities also forced the
eviction of the population of some Palestinian villages in the territories occupied in 1967 and then
destroyed these villages.[262]
The Israeli authorities are specifically targeting the Palestinian presence in occupied Jerusalem and
consistently work towards altering the demographics prevailing in the City prior to its occupation
through a policy of ethnic cleansing. This policy aims at forcing the largest possible number of
Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to move out of the City by means of freezing family unification,

[258]

Ilan Pappe. Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine..One World Publications, 2006. p. 143.

[259]

Salim Tamari, The City and its Rural Hinterland, in Jerusalem 1948:The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War.
Institute for Palestine Studies (1999). p. 75-86. According to UNRWA statistics of 1997, the number of refugees from these
villages reached 246,342.
[260]

Nathan Krystall, The Fall of the New City 1947-1950, in Jerusalem 1948:The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the
War. Salim Tamari ed. Institute for Palestine Studies (1999). p. 93.

[261]

By an order from the Israeli government, the occupying forces evicted the residents of Magharbeh neighborhood and
several adjacent neighborhoods in the Old City and forcibly moved them to Shu>fat refugee camp. Then they demolished
these neighborhoods and built new ones to accommodate Jewish settlers. Some of the settlers were accommodated in
houses expropriated from Palestinians. Statistics indicate that the occupying authorities completely removed the Magharbeh
neighborhood, demolishing 135 houses that hosted 650 Palestinians, in addition to demolishing two mosques. For more
details, see: Musa Al-Qudsi Al-Dweik. Jerusalem and the International Law: A Study on the Legal Status of the City and the Israeli
Violations of Human Rights.

[262]

During the 1967 war, the Israeli occupying troops forcibly evicted the population of the three villages in the Latroun
(Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba), west of Jerusalem and demolished the villages by the virtue of a decision made by the Israeli
government. According to the population of these villages, most of them are currently living in Amman, while some live in
Ramallah and Jerusalem.

88

appropriating land, building settlements ,severely restricting Palestinian construction in Jerusalem


,demolishing Palestinian houses, restricting the freedom of movement and choice of residence,
and isolating the city from the rest of the oPt through the Annexation Wall which further annexes
Palestinian land through its very construction.[263] These policies and measures prevent any
Palestinian from exercising their right to live in Jerusalem and force many Palestinian residents out
of the City, often by officially revoking their right to reside in Jerusalem.[264]
Among the most serious measures aimed at reducing the proportion of Palestinians and increasing
the number of Jewish settlers in Jerusalem is the aforementioned Nationality and Entry into
Israel law, which was initiated through the Israeli occupation authoritys Decision 1813 of 2002,
providing for freezing the family unification procedures for Palestinians. The Israeli parliament
(Knesset) approved the Decision and turned it into the National and Entry to Israel (temporary
order) law of 2003, which was later renamed to the Nationality and Entry to Israel law. Under this
law, a complete freeze was exercised on the unification of Palestinian families and the processing
of the related applications.
On 16 May 2007, Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day, which is in the Hebrew calendar equal to
28 June the day when the eastern part of the City was officially annexed. On this occasion,
the Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies issued a special report presenting the findings of an
opinion poll implemented among the Jewish public on a number of issues and situations related
to Jerusalem and its future.[265]
In the data gathered by its experts and presented in the report, the Institute warned that the
demographic balance is likely to tip in favor of Arabs during the next two decades and that there is
a risk of losing the Jewish majority in Jerusalem.[266] Researchers from the same institute warned in
a 2007 conference on Jerusalems population that the Jewish majority in the City is increasingly
declining since several years and indicated that the growth rate for the Arab population in
Jerusalem is twice as much as the growth rate of Jews. The data presented in the conference
indicates that Jerusalem (both parts) has a total population of about 720,000, including 66% of
Jews and 34% of Arabs. This gap is predicted to decrease in the coming years to be 60% of Jews
and 40% of Arabs by 2020.[267]
The data clearly points to a certain drawback in the demographic situation as viewed by the Israeli
authorities, in spite of the strict measures and restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in order to
decrease their proportion in the City to below 30%. Hence, the authorities have been intensifying
these measures, as reflected in the Nationality and Entry to Israel law of 2003, which is considered
a measure of ethnic cleansing.

[263]

According to the Jerusalem Annual Statistical Book published by PCBS, 1635 families have been displaced from Jerusalem
district in result of Wall construction.

[264]

According to data from the Israeli Interior Ministry, in 2006, the right to residency in Jerusalem was revoked for 1363
Palestinian residents of the City, which constitutes an about 500% increase compared to 2005..Data is based on an article
published on the website of 1948 Arabs on 24 June 2007.

[265]

An Israeli institute specializing in developing studies, visions and strategic plans in regard to the status of Jerusalem.

[266]

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. The Image of Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Jewish Public in Israel: http://www.jiis.
org.il/content.asp?pressMessageID=13 (2007).

[267]

Ibid.

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Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

89

Definition of Forced Displacement:


Internal displacement is a major issue affecting the Palestinians since the beginning of the conflict
with the Zionist movement, dating back to periods prior to 1948 the year when Israel was
declared as a state. However, the internal forced displacement of Palestinians within the territories
where Israel was established (1948 areas) became evident following 1948, with tens of thousands of
Palestinians being forcibly displaced inside their homeland. The forced displacement of Palestinians
continued following Israels occupation of the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem in 1967,
mainly targeting East Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Local Palestinian residents were forced
out and those wanting to move and live in Jerusalem were not permitted to do so.
There is no legal definition of internal displacement, other than the definition used in the UN
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of 1998, which defines internally displaced persons
as those persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their
homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of
armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or humanmade disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.[268]
For persons or groups of persons to be included in the above definition of internally displaced, the
displacement has to be a result of forced causes, and the displaced persons have to remain living within
the internationally recognized borders of their state and not cross a border and settle in another state.[269]
To date there is no international convention or criteria to regulate the conditions of the internally
displaced and provide them with protection and help as victims of human rights violations, armed
conflicts or natural disasters. It should be noted however that internally displaced persons do not benefit
from the international protection available to refugees. To fill this gap, the UN Guiding Principles should
be adopted as guidance for the different authorities, groups, governmental organizations and NGOs in
dealing with cases of internal displacement, as these principles respond to the standards enshrined in
international human rights law and in the rules and provisions of international humanitarian law.

Forced Displacement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories


Under the definition of internal displacement as outlined in the Guiding Principles, Israeli policies
can be considered as leading to the forced displacement of the Palestinian population of the
territories occupied in 1967, and in particular the Palestinian Jerusalemites, who have been, and
continue to be forced to leave their places of habitual residence due to the violation of their rights
by the occupying power and have not crossed internationally recognized borders.

[268]

Walter Kalin, Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, Annotations. ASIL Studies in Transnational Legal Policy, No: 32,.
American society of International Law and the Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement, 2000, p. 1.

[269]

The difference between the internally displaced and refugees should be emphasized as each category has a different legal
status. A refugee is one who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for race, religion, nationality, members of a
particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such a fear, is
unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of
his nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or owing to
such fear, is unwilling to return to it (Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, Article 1A(2), amended through
the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees). Refugees are not considered citizens of the host country but rather
maintain a special legal status. On the other hand, the internally displaced, by the fact that they have remained within the
borders of their country, should have all the rights and duties associated with their nationality.

90

In this case, we find that the internally displaced Palestinians are those persons, or groups of
persons, who have been forced to flee as a result of the 1967 war and the continuous violation of
their human rights by the Israeli authorities.[270]
Practices leading to the internal displacement in Jerusalem include the adoption of Israel as the
occupying power of the policy of isolation of Jerusalem and preventing the Palestinians from
accessing the City for purposes of residence or otherwise, the adoption of an discriminatory policy
towards family unification resulting in the recent freeze on this process, and the demolition of
houses and deliberate damage to properties of Palestinians. Since the beginning of the occupation
of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the Israeli authorities have demolished thousands of
buildings and houses on the pretext of security, to deter Palestinians from carrying out attacks
against Israel, to retaliate for attacks, and due to the lack of building license. As a result, tens of
thousands of Palestinians have been internally displaced.
No accurate statistics are available on the number of the internally displaced in the oPt. According
to the estimates of BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights,
approximately 10,000 Palestinians were displaced during the 1967 war, with the vast majority
from the villages and towns of Imwas, Yalo, Beit Nouba, Beit Awwa, Jiftlek, Qalqilia and the
Old City of Jerusalem (Magharbeh neighborhood). According to BADIL estimates, about 50,000
Palestinians have been forcibly internally displaced due to the policy of house demolition in
Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem.[271] According to UNRWA estimates, the number of
persons internally displaced due to house demolition in the period 2000-2004 was about 22,000
Palestinians, including about 3,800 persons who were displaced in Gaza Strip as a result of military
operations and the accompanied large scale house demolition during May 2004.[272]
Regarding Jerusalem in particular, forced displacement has been consistently implemented in
the city since 1967, when the occupying forces implemented the Israeli Governments decision
to evict the Palestinians from the Old City (Magharbeh neighborhood and other adjacent
neighborhoods) to Shufat camp and completely destroy Magharbeh neighborhood[273]. In the
remaining neighborhoods, the houses of the newly displaced Palestinians were expanded and used
to accommodate Jewish settlers. New housing units were built to increase the capacity for adding
even more settlers.
To summarize, Israeli measures targeted at Jerusalem and its Palestinian residents vary to include
the isolation of the City from the rest of the oPt, denial of access for Palestinians, creation of
obstacles for the unification of Palestinian families in Jerusalem, prevention of any Palestinian
not holding permanent residency status in Jerusalem (the blue Israeli ID card) from accessing and
residing in the City, and most recently the freeze of the processing of any application for family
unification, which means prohibiting any possibility for a Palestinian or a person of Palestinian
origin to have residence in Jerusalem. These measures come within a systematic and extensive
plan to limit the proportion of Palestinians and increase the number of Jewish settlers in the City.

[270]

This includes Palestinians forced to move from Gaza Strip to the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and vice versa, as they
have not crossed the borders of the oPt, but were displaced within these borders, which means they meet the criteria for the
internally displaced.

[271]

Norwegian Refugee Council. Profile of internal displacement: Palestinian Territories., July 2004, p. 4.

[272]

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. http://www.internal-displacement.org/idmc/website/countries.nsf/(httpEnvel


opes)/98F0726BF7D6AA45C12574B30055BD32?OpenDocument (2009).

[273]

Supra, note 82.

CHAPTER THREE

Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

91

Due to these grave violations of human rights, tens of thousands of Palestinian families have been
forced to move out of the city and settle behind the Wall and outside of Jerusalem.
Overall, large numbers of Palestinians have been subjected to internal displacement due to
the Israeli policies, mainly the freeze on the unification of disintegrated Palestinian families
and the large scale and deliberate practice of house demolition. These people are considered
internally displaced because they have not crossed the borders of the territories occupied in
1967, contrary to refugees, who have been forced in 1948 to leave Palestine that was under
the British mandate and seek shelter in neighboring countries as a result of Israeli policies or to
avoid the adversities of the war.

Summary and Conclusions:


The purpose of this study has been to highlight the underlying reasons for the Israeli policies
regarding residency and citizenship and their consequences on the Palestinian presence in
Jerusalem in particular and in the occupied Palestinian territories. These policies are targeting
the physical presence of Palestinians in their homeland and subjecting them to internal
displacement in order to achieve the Israeli aims of reducing the number of Palestinians and
increasing the proportion of Jewish settlers in the country a practice that fits within the scope
and definition of ethnic cleansing.
The study revealed that the definition of ethnic cleansing applies to the Israeli policies targeted at
the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, including the freeze on family unification for Palestinians,
house demolition, cancellation of Palestinians residency status in Jerusalem, land appropriation,
restrictions imposed on building activities, and restriction of freedom of movement, including
free access to and from Jerusalem. These policies and the associated measures lead to the forced
displacement of Palestinians and constitute grave violations of their rights, including Palestinians
right to residency in Jerusalem, the right to have a name and nationality, to choose the place
of residence, to free movement, the right to live in liberty and dignity and in a sound family
environment, the right to health care and education, and the right to grow and develop under
parental care and within a calm and sound family environment. In addition, the policies of the
Israeli authorities violate their obligations with regards to non-discrimination, enshrined in various
international human rights instruments to which Israel is a party.
The continuation of these policies reflects the leniency of the international community towards
Israel and its discriminatory policies, to the detriment of the Palestinian people. These policies have
restricted family unification for Palestinians since the beginning of the occupation, culminating
with a total freeze since the start of the second Intifada. Despite the dozens of reports and studies
published on the illegitimacy of these policies, there has been little impact on the public opinion.
The lobbying efforts of human rights organizations towards ending these policies have had a
minimal impact on the international community, who continues its reluctance to exert serious
and effective pressure on the Israeli authorities to halt their discriminatory policies and ensure
respect for human rights.
The Civic Coalition has presented this brief study on the Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and
forced displacement targeting the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem in the hopes that human rights
advocates globally will mobilize international opinion and together, use the information provided
in this study to demand for the immediate cessation of these policies.

92

Recommendations:
International community:

t
t

t

Pressure Israel, the occupying power, to ensure protection for Palestinians in the oPt
against the Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement and compel
Israel to respect and implement their obligations under international human rights and
humanitarian law.
Pressure Israel, the occupying power, to revoke the Nationality and Entry to Israel law
in view of its character as a tool of racial discrimination against the Palestinians in the
oPt, Palestinian Jerusalemites and Palestinian citizens in Israel in particular, and to lift
the restrictions on Palestinians mobility, including their free and safe access to and from
Jerusalem, and allow all Palestinians to practice their inherent right to choose their place
of residence, including in Jerusalem.
Demand that States Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the
Protection of Civilians in Times of War compel Israel to fulfill its obligations ensuing from
the Convention and to halt its policies aimed at the forced transfer of Palestinians, especially
Jerusalemites, which constitute a breach of the Conventions rules and provisions.

Israeli authorities:

t
t

t

Stop the policies of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Palestinians, including
the immediate cancellation of the Nationality and Entry to Israel law, which entails racial
discrimination specifically against Palestinians, and ensure Palestinians free access to and
from Jerusalem and freedom to stay and live in the City.
Respect and implement the standards of the international human rights instruments to
which Israel is a party, specifically with regard to the right to identity and nationality,
the right to a family life and childrens right to know and be cared for by their parents.
This entails upholding obligations to protect the family as the natural and fundamental
group unit of society and stop discrimination against Palestinians with regard to family
reunification and residency.
Apply the rules and provisions of international humanitarian law and international human
rights law to the Palestinian population of the oPt; stop the current policies concerning
the unification of Palestinian families, including Jerusalemites; create, develop and activate
mechanisms that can provide Palestinians with protection against violations of their basic
rights and freedoms; and ensure their enjoyment of basic rights, primarily the right to
freedom of movement and free access to and from the oPt, including Jerusalem.

CHAPTER THREE

Forced Displacement Israeli Violations of Palestinians Rights to Residency in Jerusalem

93

Palestinian Authority:

t
t

Monitor and document the consequences of the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement
of Palestinians, the freeze on the unification of disintegrated families, including Jerusalemite
families, and evaluate the ensuing material and psychological damages.
Ensure the provision of the necessary support and aid to victims of these policies,
including their rehabilitation and social integration, and generally support the wellbeing
and integrity of Palestinian families.

International and local NGOs:

t

t
t
t
t

Demand Israel, the occupying power, to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories
and in the meantime to ensure the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the
oPt and respect and apply its international human rights obligations with regard to the
Palestinians; to restore the situation of Jerusalem as prior to its occupation; and refrain
from isolating the City from its Palestinian surroundings.
Demand Israel, the occupying power, to cease the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement
policies against Palestinians aimed at forcing them out of the City borders by different
means, including the freeze on family unification, and to cancel the Nationality and Entry
to Israel law, which entails racial discrimination against Palestinians.
Pressure the international community, the UN and States Parties to the Fourth Geneva
Convention to fulfill their legal responsibilities and refrain from supporting the Israeli
measures in the oPt, including the freeze on family unification; and pressure Israel to stop
its discriminatory measures and fulfill its obligations under international law.
Monitor and document cases of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement in the oPt, including
Israels policy ion family unification, conduct studies in this regard and develop specific
tangible projects in the area of protection and assistance to the victims of these policies.
Develop lobbying and advocacy campaigns targeting the international community, to pressure
Israel to stop its violations of human rights in the oPt, specifically those affecting Palestinian
families and preventing their unification. This can include threats of boycott and divestment
and actual adoption of these measures in the case where Israel fails to respond.

CHAPTER FOUR

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing


construction
Israeli Occupation Authorities Campaign
Against Palestinian Property in Jerusalem

95

CHAPTER FOUR

97

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction


Israeli Occupation Authorities Campaign Against
Palestinian Property in Jerusalem
Yaqoub Odeh
Field Researcher Land Research Centre, Jerusalem

Introduction
Palestinian land has been at the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the very beginning of
the Palestinian cause and throughout its stages: prior to the creation of Israel in 1948, after
Israels occupation of the remaining part of Palestine in 1967, and to date. The Judaization and
annexation of Jerusalem has been a primary aim of the Israeli occupation, which it seeks to achieve
by imposing demographic changes on the ground. As a result, Palestinian land in Jerusalem is being
appropriated and Jerusalemites are being prevented from using 88% of their land under various
pretexts. In addition, 17 Jewish settlements and dozens of settler outposts have been established in
and around the Old City of Jerusalem, accommodating over 9000 settlers. The number of housing
units in the settlements is over 70,000 housing approximately 200,000 settlers; a settler presence
in occupied Jerusalem that is steadily increasing.
The Israeli government policy against Palestinian construction activities in Jerusalem has been a
means for implementing the Judaization plan, aimed at minimizing the non-Jewish population
in the city. The policy of demolishing existing houses, removing those under construction and
banning the building of new ones has been implemented systematically by the Israeli authorities,
with periods of intensification and periods of easing as per the political context of the occupation
and the region in general.

Home and old and new policy


Immediately after the war of June 1967, on 11 June, Israeli bulldozers razed the As-Sharaf
neighbourhood (Moroccan quarter inside the old city), destroying 135 houses, a school, and a
mosque. Soon later, the three Latrun villages of Imwas, Yalo and Beit Naquba located northwest of

98

Jerusalem were totally destroyed, including over 5,000 houses [274] Additionally, about 200 buildings
and houses in the no mans land areas in Jerusalem were, also destroyed. The total number of
houses alone demolished in Jerusalem to date (Sep. 2008 ) since June 1967 is estimated at around
9000 houses[275]. This is in addition to the use of military tanks, warplanes, warships and military
and civil bulldozers to demolish over 40,000 buildings and displace hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians in other parts of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the
second Intifada (uprising) in the year 2000.

Israeli government Violation of the Palestinians Rights to


Land and Adequate Housing:
Jerusalem suffers from a complicated housing problem, which is increasing year by year due in
large part to the Israeli occupations policies and practices:
Approximately 25 km of land have been confiscated from the West Bank territory and annexed to
Jerusalem since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967. This illegally confiscated and annexed land
was used to establish (to date) 17 settlements in Jerusalem for exclusive Jewish use under a systematically
planned policy.[276] The Israeli occupation has confiscated 34% of Jerusalem lands for settlement activities
and classified 54% of the lands as Green or Open areas, leaving less than 12% or only 10,048 dunums of
land for Palestinian housing and other uses[277] According to the Jewish Professor Yohanan Peres, Israel
is banning construction in 70% of West Bank lands and 86% of Jerusalem lands
In addition, the Israeli occupations housing policy and practices completely ignore the needs of
the local Arab population, particularly in regard to zoning and building. Similar to the situation
in the apartheid regime in South Africa, the decision in this regard is political and not a structural
or technical decision responding to the needs of urban development. The essence of the Israeli
occupations policy is to reduce the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and its suburbs as much as
possible so that it will account for less than 22% of the population of both parts of the City, as
per the 1973 decision of the inter-ministerial committee (Gafni Committee) on ethnic balance.[278]
The Palestinian population in Jerusalem in the middle of 2007 was 258,000 [279], comprising about
35% of the total population of the city (east and west).
For 40 years since the inception of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem
Municipality had not approved a structural scheme in East Jerusalem for the benefit of its
Palestinian population. Only in 2007 did the Mayor of Jerusalem declared that 50 schemes would
be put in place to benefit the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem.[280] The Israeli occupation

[274]
See the documentary film titled The Cactus Memory, directed by Hana Misleh and produced by Al Haq human
Rights Association, Ramallah.
[275]
LRC annual house demolition reports in Arabic, http://www.lrcj.org/Arabic/ViolationsMonitoring/Reports/2001_2008.htm.
[276]
Geographic Information System GIS database, Land Research Center LRC.
[277]
Ibid.
[278]
Discrimination in the heart of the city , Mr. Meir Margalit, 2006, and, Israel and the occupied territories, Amnesty
International, p. 48, note 5.
[279]
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Census final results in the West Bank - Summary (population &
housing 2007), Ramallah - Palestine.
[280]
Coalition for Jerusalem. 40 Years under occupation - Jerusalem, Facts and Numbers. June 2007.

CHAPTER FOUR

99

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction

has consistently prevented the implementation of building activities by, for example, allocating a
low proportion of lands for building, or classifying lands as Green or Open Areas. For instance,
lands classified as Green comprise 60% of Sawahreh and 42% of Sur Baher. The lands of these
two villages are classified as lands in need of reclassification and zoning; compounding these
confiscations are the Israeli bypass roads that occupy an additional 7% of Jerusalem lands. As a
result, only a very limited area is available for building purposes.
These appropriations and confiscations have forced the Palestinians in Jerusalem to resort to
unlicensed building a choice that they have not taken willingly in order to respond to the
increasing need for over 200 houses per year and to avoid the heavy fees associated with the
license. These license fees are particularly significant in view of the low income level and high taxes
faced by Palestinian residents in Jerusalem, who also suffer from crippling conditions resulting
from complicated administrative procedures and prohibitive requirements that bar construction
in practice. Such procedures include:

t
t

Possession of land ownership registration certificate, which is rarely available because two thirds
of West Bank lands including occupied Jerusalem have not been registered in land registries.
In addition, the Israeli authorities have since the late 1970s persisted in declaring unregistered
and unused lands as State Lands, managed by the occupations Civil Administration.
Heavy fees for obtaining a building license, ranging between US $25,000-30,000. The
fees are impossible to meet under the severe economic hardship faced by Palestinians
in Jerusalem. It should be noted that approximately 60% of Palestinians are living
under the poverty line and approximately 35% of skilled workers in East Jerusalem are
unemployed[281]. The following table illustrates the cost of obtaining a building license
from the Israeli occupations municipality:

Table 1
No

Procedure

Cost (in NIS)

1.

Initial application

2.

Fees for building development (connection to water network)

14800

3.

Fees for land development

18500

4.

Taxes for sewage installation

15525

5.

Fees for water network development

17606

6.

Taxes for connecting to the sewage system

8236

7.

Taxes for connecting to the water network

5025

8.

Preparation of construction plan for registration purposes

15000

9.

Improvement tax

12800

Total

2000

109492

Source: A study on the Israeli structural plan for Jerusalem City 2000 CCDPRJ

[281]

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Jerusalem Annual Statistical Report, No. 10 June 2008,
Ramallah - Palestine

100

t

t

Palestinian applicants for a building license have to wait for a period of 5-10 years and in
some cases, even longer, to obtain a license. At best, the issued licenses account for only
5% of applications. A person obtaining a building license can only build two flats and
a parking garage of a 180 cm height as a maximum. As a result, more than 75% of the
population lives in small and inadequate houses. People resorting to unlicensed building
are often those with low or limited income who cannot afford to pay the fees for a license,
but whom due to the inadequacy of their housing, cannot afford not to build.
When a Palestinian obtains a license to build, the allowed area for building is restricted,
as the Israeli occupations municipality appropriates 40% of the land as the municipalitys
share. In Al-Mukabber for example, the allowed area for Palestinians to build is only 37%
of the lands area, compared to 90% in the Jewish settlement Armon Hanatzif built on
Al-Mukabber lands.[282] In Beit Hanina, the allowed area for building is 50% of the lands
area, compared to 90-120% in Pisgat Zeev settlement built on Beit Hanina lands.[283] In
Sur Baher, the allowed area is 35-50% of the lands area, compared to 90-120% in Har
Homah settlement in the same area[284].

These crippling conditions leave Palestinians with only one choice to build without obtaining
a license. Eventually, this leads to penal procedures by the municipality, interior and defence
ministries. These include monetary fines, reaching, according to Meir Margalit, NIS 96 millions in
2006, confiscation of building equipment and tools and materials, imprisonment, and demolition
of buildings. There has been a sharp decline in the number of buildings due to the Israeli
occupations discriminatory policies against Palestinian building in Jerusalem. The municipality
declared to the media that the unlicensed building declined by 95% in 2005-2006, when in fact
there has been 4.2% increase in the number of buildings in that period, reflecting a 2.1% increase
per year[285]. The rate of increase has dropped compared to previous years, when from 1996-2004,
the number of buildings increased by 129%, i.e. by 16% per year.

[282]

Dr. Rasim Khamaysa, Struggle over Jerusalem. 2006. p. 89, table 28


Ibid.
[284]
Ibid.
[285]
Discrimination in the heart of the city , Mr. Meir Margalit, 2006, and, Israel and the occupied territories, Amnesty
International, p. 48, note 5.
[283]

CHAPTER FOUR

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction

101

An Israeli bulldozer demolishing the walls of the ground floor of a building owned by Majed
Abu Eisheh in Beit Hanina

Abu Eisheh building after being demolished by explosives, along with furniture belonging to
the seven families living there

102

Two children from Al-Razem family, whose house in Beit Hanina was demolished by the
Israeli occupation

The Land Research Center of the Arab Studies Society has documented 837 cases of house
demolition between the beginning of 2000 and the end of August 2008[286]. The demolitions were
carried out under the pretext of illegal unlicensed building. According to the Israeli Committee
Against House Demolition (ICAHD), 65-71 houses were demolished in the period 1 January 31
August 2008. Most neighbourhoods, suburbs and villages in Jerusalem district have been affected
to varying degrees.
Table 2: Demolished houses in Jerusalem by year
Year

[286]

Number of demolished houses

2000

11

2001

72

2002

69

2003

145

2004

183

2005

120

2006

78

2007

94

1/1 31/8/2008

65

Total

837

LRC annual house demolition reports in Arabic, http://www.lrcj.org/Arabic/ViolationsMonitoring/Reports/2001_2008.htm

CHAPTER FOUR

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction

103

104

Table 3: House demolition in Jerusalem from 2001 until the end of August 2008 by locality:
Locality

Number of demolished houses

Kufr Aqab

Nabi Samuel

Al-Jib

13

Shu>fat

79

Old City

15

Z>ayem

Wad Al-Joz

11

Beit Hanina

191

Al-Thori

Eisawiyeh

57

Hizma

Bethany

14

Anata

100

Al-Tur

79

Al-Mukabber

32

Silwan

44

Um Tuba

Sur Baher

51

Al-Ram

Beit Iksa

Beit Safafa

Biddo

Al-Walajeh

26

Qatannah

Sheikh Jarrah

Sheikh Sa>ad

Beit Surik

Bir Nabala

10

Sawahreh Sharqieyh

Um Al-Lahem

Jaba>

Sharfat

Abu Dis

12

Mount of Olives
Qalandia
Total

5
15
826

CHAPTER FOUR

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction

105

The average cost of construction of one square meter of a house made of brick, cement and
stone in East Jerusalem is US $300. This is a painful economic burden, particularly under the
severe economic and living hardship experienced by the majority of Palestinians in the city. In
addition to the financial loss, house demolitions have serious and long-lasting negative impacts
on the physical and mental health and the social and cultural life of families and owners of
demolished houses[287].

Challenges Facing the Housing Sector in Jerusalem:


According to the Land Research Centers data, the demolition orders and decisions served
to Palestinians in the last four years totalled 88% of the total orders and decisions issued for
Jerusalem during that period. The remaining 12% in the Israeli side is only walls, TV towers
and kiosks. There has been no demolition whatsoever of any housing units amongst this
12 %, according to Ex-municipality member, Sara Keminker, and, current member in the
municipal council from Meretz party, Meir Margalit. This is despite the fact the Palestinians
only account for one third of the population of Jerusalem and their share of owned buildings
in the City does not exceed 18.2%. The cumulative amount of unlicensed building fines in
2006 exceeded NIS 96 millions. The unlicensed buildings, estimated at 20,000 houses[288]
according to building control officer Zvi Schneider at the Israeli Interior Ministry are the
only means for Palestinians fortitude in Jerusalem and for defending their lands and city,
irrespective of the occupying authorities classifications. Continued building and restoration
of Palestinian houses is a main factor in preventing the complete Judaization of Jerusalem and
alteration of its holy and historical status. Victims of house demolitions are mostly people
with low or average income. Their fortitude in the city protects the Arab and Islamic identity
of Jerusalem in the face of Israeli plans aimed to remove them from their houses and lands and
replace them with Jewish settlers.

Major challenges for housing in Jerusalem include:

[287]

1.

Scarcity of lands, with only 12% or about 10,048 dunums of Jerusalem lands left for
building (half of the 12% is already occupied)[289]. Sections within the other half lack a land
registration certificate, other sections are owned by multiple owners, and still others are
considered by the Israeli Authority as absentee land and thus eligible for appropriation.

2.

The Israeli policies and laws illegalizing construction and legalizing demolition, which
represent a major threat for Palestinian Jerusalemites[290]

3.

The municipalitys classification of houses as illegal includes 20,000 houses and 8 illegal
files according to the Interior Ministry and Mair Margalit.. In addition to these numbers,

Impacts of house demolition in Jerusalem, Amer Nur, 1995, Palestine Human Rights Information Center.
Discrimination in the heart of the city, Mr. Meir Margalit, 2006, P. 27, see also: http://www.kibush.co.il/downloads/
meirbook-hw.pdf
[289]
Dr. Rasim Khamaysa. Planning and Organization in Jerusalem. 2008, p.79, and Jeff Halper, Jerusalem on the
Map 2005, p.400.
[290]
See the planning and construction laws for 1965 and its Israeli amendments and procedures.
[288]

106

an unknown number of unlicensed building files are kept by the Defence Ministry,
covering the remaining parts of the Jerusalem district[291]
4.

High population density in the Old City, where the space is limited and services are
scarce, while the population is growing in inappropriate housing conditions and the
majority of houses are in need for urgent restoration and rehabilitation. To solve the
housing problem, it is estimated that Palestinians in Jerusalem currently need more than
42,000 housing units.

5.

The Annexation Wall that extends over more than 200 km to the east and west around
Jerusalem and occupies more than 40,000 dunums of the Citys lands. According to the
plans, the Wall will annex 12 settlements with a population of more than 176,000 Jewish
settlers to Jerusalem.

6.

The Israeli plan for Jerusalem 2000, which has allocated an insufficient number
of housing units for Arab neighbourhoods, aims to allow the Israeli authorities to
appropriate the remaining lands and force Palestinians out, using the pretext of
overcrowding in the Old City.

Legal Consequences of Forced Eviction and House Demolition:


The demolition of buildings and houses in Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation represents the
individual and collective punishment of the Palestinian people and, as such, constitutes a flagrant
violation of customary and treaty based International Law. House demolitions by the Israeli
occupation is part of its plan to force the Palestinians out of their homeland and establish Jewish
settlements, where settlers would replace the Palestinian owners and residents, demonstrating the
occupations political goals with regard to Jerusalem that go beyond the stated urban planning
pretexts. Hence, it is necessary to mobilize efforts to disclose the Israeli policies and practices at
both, the local and international levels.

International Human Rights Law:


The right to choose residency is enshrined under Article 12 of the 1966 International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that Everyone lawfully within the territory of a
State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his
residence. The right to freedom of residence is also recognized and documented in Article 13 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which states that everyone has the right to
freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Israeli policies and practices
of house demolitions constitute a violation of their legal obligations under the ICCPR, depriving
hundreds of Palestinians of their right to choose their residence and actually forcing them from
their chosen residence on their own land.
The ICCPR also includes the right to respect of privacy, family, home and correspondence
(Article 17). According to the Human Rights Committee, the monitoring body of the ICCPR,

[291]

Bimkom ( Planners for Planning Rights), workshop on demolition in area 20, May, 2009

CHAPTER FOUR

Legalizing demolition Illegalizing construction

107

this right is required to be guaranteed against all such interferences and attacks whether they
emanate from State authorities or from natural or legal persons. The obligations imposed by this
article require the State to adopt legislative and other measures to give effect to the prohibition
against such interferences and attacks as well as to the protection of this right . By demolishing
houses and rendering families homeless, Israel is openly and deliberately interfering with
Palestinians homes and family life, and therefore is in clear violation of its obligations under
Article 17of the ICCPR.
Under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR), everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living, which specifically includes
adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.
Furthermore, as a State Party to the ICESCR, Israel is under obligation to take appropriate steps
to ensure the realization of this right. Israels demolition of houses is a flagrant violation of its
obligations under Article 11- instead of taking steps to ensure that Palestinians enjoy their right to
adequate housing and continuous improvement of living conditions; it is directly and knowingly
destroying the already inadequate housing available to the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.
A necessary step in carrying out house demolitions is the practice of forced evictions. In order
to demolish the house, the resident family is first be evicted against their will. In addition to
the provisions set out in the text of the ICCPR and ICESCR, various UN bodies monitoring
international law have expressly addressed forced evictions, which accompany the house demolitions.
After the its General Comment 16, the Human Rights Committee in March 1993 unequivocally
classified the practice of forced eviction as a gross violation of human rights, in particular the
right to adequate housing. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has twice
released general comments relating to forced evictions. According to the ICESCR on the right
to adequate housing highlighted State Parties obligation to give due priority to those social
groups living in unfavorable conditions by giving them particular consideration and specifically
stated that policies and legislation should correspondingly not be designed to benefit already
advantaged social groups at the expense of others Israels policies regarding house demolitions
and accompanying forced eviction (and subsequent development of land for exclusive use by the
Jewish Israeli population) does in fact favor one already advantaged social group, Israelis, at the
expense of another- the Palestinians. The UN human right Committee in General Comment 4
concluded that the practice of forced evictions is prima facie incompatible with the requirements
of the Covenant and can only be justified in the most exceptional circumstances and in accordance
with the relevant principles of international law.
To clarify the extent to which forced evictions may be permissible, the Committee subsequently
released General Comment 7 in 1993, where it expressly states that Forced eviction and house
demolition as a punitive measure are also inconsistent with the norms of the Covenant. Likewise,
the Committee takes note of the obligations enshrined in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and
Protocols thereto of 1977 concerning prohibitions on the displacement of the civilian population
and the destruction of private property as these relate to the practice of forced eviction.

International Humanitarian Law:


Article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, prohibits the transferring of
the Occupying powers own civilian population into the territory that it occupies. Also, according
to article 53 of the same convention Israeli is prohibited from the destruction of personal property,
therefore, Israels practices of house demolition are in direct violation of their obligations under

108

the Fourth Geneva Convention, under which Israel is considered as the Occupying Power. Recent
house demolitions ordered by the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem have garnered criticism by
Switzerland, who regards such demolitions as violations of Israels obligations under the Fourth
Geneva Convention. Israel has stated that recent demolitions in Jerusalem (November 2008) were
sanctioned by law as they were carried out under a court order; however the Swiss Foreign Ministry
affirmed that the demolition of houses is in fact a violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, of
which Switzerland is the guardian. In a statement to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Switzerland
stated that it noted no military need to justify the destruction of these houses, and as such
regarded the demolitions as violations of international humanitarian law
Further, the Convention indicates that grave breaches of the Convention include extensive
destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out
unlawfully and wantonly. Every High Contracting Party to the Convention is under the
obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed or to have ordered to be committed,
such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own
courts. Under this provision, Israel is under obligation to investigate and prosecute those who have
perpetrated or ordered grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the extensive
destruction and appropriation of property. We in occupied Jerusalem believe this provision should
be applied to officials in the Israeli government who ordered and supervised such demolitions. As
demolitions have been a continuous practice since June 1967, this provision within the Fourth
Geneva Convention should affect senior governmental officials who have ordered or implemented
the demolitions since 1967 up to the present day.

CHAPTER FIVE

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and


Challenges

109

CHAPTER FIVE

111

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges


Prepared by Samir Jibril
Director of Education in Jerusalem
Education in Jerusalem

Introduction
Four different authorities supervise education in Jerusalem: the Islamic Waqf affiliated with the
Palestinian Authority, the Israeli Ministry of Education/Municipality, the private sector, and
UNRWA. This multitude of supervising bodies has a negative impact on the status, quality and
development of education within the City. The following table demonstrates the distribution of
students by the supervising body according to 2007-2008 statistics:
Table 1:
Supervising body

2007-2008

Per cent

Students

Classes

Israeli Ministry of Education/Municipality

36770

1079

50.4

44.7

Islamic Waqf

12431

471

17.0

19.5

Private

17839

669

24.4

27.7

UNRWA

3572

106

4.9

4.4

Other bodies (*)

2419

88

3.3

3.6

73031

2413

100

100

Total

% Students

% Classes

(*) A group of investors who open schools with financial support from the municipality. The schools are known as Sakhnin
schools, and to date total 8 in Jerusalem.

Sources:
1.
2.
3.

Planning and Statistics Department at the Jerusalem Directorate of Education


JerusalemMunicipality website: www.jerusalem.muni.il/jer_main/defaultnew.asp?lng=1
Sakhnin schools administration

Islamic Waqf schools (Palestinian Authority):


Waqf schools (previously known as Husni Al-Ashhab schools) are considered the heir of the
education department in the Jerusalem district since the period of Jordanian rule. The schools
were established post-1967 in response to measures taken by the Israeli occupation authorities to
control Jerusalem schools and attempt to impose an Israeli curriculum. A majority of these schools
occupy residential buildings that have not been adequately adapted to become schools, but have
managed to accommodate the large demand resulting from the Jerusalem communitys refusal

112

to accept the Israeli curriculum. These schools have been subjected to numerous harassments by
the Israeli authorities[292]. Despite these adverse conditions, the Waqf schools continue to provide
education to Jerusalemites free of charge without the Israeli curriculum or agenda, and hence they
remain very popular.

Islamic Waqf Schools: Infrastructure and Facilities


1.

The premises are originally residential buildings that are not adapted to accommodate a
large number of students. As a result, the schools have crowded classrooms and there is a
lack of schoolyards and playgrounds for the children.

2.

Most classrooms do not meet educational or health standards, with the average classroom
density at 0.9 sq. meters per student, compared to the international standard of at least
1.26 sq. meters. In some schools, the space per student is even less than 0.5 sq. meters.

3.

Approximately half of the school buildings are rented. Their annual rent amounts to over
USD 750,000, which is a high financial burden.

4.

It is difficult to obtain a building license due to the complicated procedures imposed by


the Israeli occupations municipality in Jerusalem. A building license requires long years
of follow up in view of the incapacitating requirements and heavy fees levied, which may
ultimately lead to achieving no result at all. In addition, the municipality imposes fines on
school buildings in amounts reaching tens of thousands of shekels (NIS).

5.

Many schools lack libraries, science labs and computer labs. This is either due to lack of
funds or limited space within the building hosting the school.

Islamic Waqf Schools: Staff

t

t
t

[292]

Teachers receive low salaries, causing some of them to seek jobs in schools run by the Israeli
municipality. This also contributes to the low rate of applications for vacancies in teaching
jobs at these schools. Heads of departments, school principals and school supervisors do
not receive administrative benefits or allowances that match their workload: the benefits
average less than $50 per month. Most holders of Jerusalem IDs do not show interest in
the announced vacancies. In addition, the supervising body does not cover social security
charges and taxes, which are imposed on them by the Israeli authorities.
These schools suffer from a severe shortage in teaching qualifications in basic subject
matters, such as Arabic language, English language, math, physics and Islamic education.
Boys schools suffer from the lack of adequate teaching staff and competency of existing
staff, leading to a low quality education:

Many organizations document the harassment children face both on their way to and from school as well as disruptions
to their studies as a result of harassment from Israeli authorities, including military. For further information, please refer to the
Monthly Bulletins of CCDPRJ available at www.ccdprj.ps, or the Weekly Protection of Civilians reports by OCHA, available
at www.ocha-opt.org.

CHAPTER FIVE

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges

113

Male teachers holding Jerusalem IDs and working in Islamic Waqf schools do not
exceed 50. Their colleagues holding West Bank IDs face difficulties getting to Jerusalem
due to the Wall and checkpoints and often are unable to obtain permits required to
enter Jerusalem.
Some teachers are in need of training in specialized and general education topics.
A large number of teachers are not qualified in the field of teaching (do not hold a
diploma in education).
Some school principals are in need of training in management.

Israeli Ministry of Education/Municipality Schools:


Following the occupation of Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation authorities controlled the Citys
schools from the period of Jordanian rule, including such schools as Rashidiyeh, Mamouniyeh,
Khalil Sakakini, Abdullah Bin Al-Hussein, to name a few. The Israeli occupation authorities also
attempted to impose the Israeli curriculum in these schools. Strong objection from families, teachers
and students, who were rightly concerned that the Israeli curriculum would inculcate an Israeli
perspective on history, culture, religion, and thus further disconnect Palestinian Jerusalemites
from West Bank Palestinians, failed this attempt and forced the Israeli occupation authorities to
abandon the idea and proceed with the teaching according to an amended Jordanian curriculum.

General Characteristics:
1.

The Israeli supervising bodies show little concern for education in Arab schools in Jerusalem,
evident in the wide differences in budgets from those allocated to Jewish schools. The
authorities also demonstrate no intention to address the causes of low quality education
prevailing in the Arab community.

2.

No educational supervision system is in place to monitor, evaluate and improve the


performance of these schools. Improvement is dependent on individual attempts by some
principals to improve the performance of their schools.

3.

The Israeli Ministry of Education and the Municipality have in recent years established
new schools in different neighborhoods in Jerusalem, such as Mount of Olives, Silwan,
Shufat, Eisawiyeh, Beit Safafa, Mukabber, Beit Hanina and Sur Baher, and has added new
classrooms to some old schools. These efforts are inadequate in the face of the continued
severe shortage in classrooms, forcing some parents to file complaints within the courts in
order to ensure a place for their children in a school.

4.

The new schools have adequate infrastructure, in terms of classrooms, schoolyards,


playgrounds, and halls.

5.

Teachers salaries are much better compared to those of teachers in other schools of
Jerusalem. That fact that even these salaries are inadequate for the high cost of living in
Jerusalem serves to illustrate the unfavorable salary situation of the Waqf teachers.

6.

School dropout rates are very high at over 10%. The Israeli Ministry of Education has not
implemented procedures to follow up with the dropouts. Through informal investigations

114

and analysis, two scenarios emerge. First, dropout occurs primarily after a student
reaches 16 years of age and thus receives an Jerusalem identification and work permit for
Israel. Second, extensive movement restrictions placed upon Palestinians force students
temporarily postpone or terminate their studies.

Private Schools:
Private schools in Jerusalem have had a positive national role in rejecting the Israeli curriculum in
the post 1967 period. They have continued to teach the amended Jordanian curriculum and have
absorbed thousands of students coming from schools run by the Israeli Ministry of Education
and municipality, leading to an increased pressure on its capacity. An indicator of this fact is
evident in the case of Rashidiyeh secondary school one of the oldest and most popular schools
in Palestine. In the pre 1967 period, the number of students in Rashidiyeh was about 780. This
number declined in the years during which the Israeli curriculum was imposed, reaching 210
students in the school year 1969/1970, 168 in the 1970/1971 academic year, and only 70 students
in 1971/1972.[293]
This year, the proportion of students receiving their education in private schools was 24% of total
students in Jerusalem. Private schools are run by different supervising bodies, including churches
and monasteries, charitable societies, and individual owners.

General Characteristics

[293]

1.

Inability to attract adequately qualified teachers due to the Annexation Wall and restrictions
on movement in and around Jerusalem. Teachers holding Jerusalem IDs demand high
salaries and often are not available in adequate numbers for private schools, as many
prefer employment in schools run by the Israeli Municipality and the Israeli Ministry of
Education for reasons associated with higher salaries and pension.

2.

Some private schools face financial difficulties as the school fees are usually inadequate to
meet the basic needs of the school.

3.

A large number of these schools have approached the Israeli municipality to demand
financial assistance. The municipality is disbursing assistance at varying levels according to
types of services available in each school.

4.

Some schools suffer from extremely high rent fees that they have to pay for their
buildings.

Arab Education in Jerusalem: The Realities and the Future. Report published by the Palestinian Ministry of Education
and Higher Education.

CHAPTER FIVE

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges

115

Private Schools: Quality of Education


Private schools are known to offer high quality education for the following reasons:
1.

They have to keep up with high standards in view of the competition among them.

2.

Private schools adopt an employment system based on annual contracts and thus can
dispose of any teacher demonstrating lack of commitment.

3.

They seek to recruit well performing students and reject those who do not meet the
required standards.

4.

The schools have the liberty to offer exceptional programs, such as teaching other foreign
languages (French, German, Spanish, etc) or give increased focus to English language by
increasing the number and quality of English lessons.

5.

They offer other educational activities, such as music and arts.

6.

Some schools run by Islamic charitable societies focus on Islamic education and Quran
recital.

7.

These schools tend to not expend resources on students with special needs and low
achievers.

Private Schools: Financial Support


With the exception of a very limited number of schools, the Ministry of Education and Higher
Education has not been concerned with supporting the private schools in financial terms. This is
despite the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization used to offer such support in the 1970s,
1980s, and early 1990s.
Therefore, we recommend that conditional support should be offered in order to avoid making
private schools dependent on Israeli funding. Such support should take the following into
consideration:
a.

No school should receive funds from two sources (Palestinian and Israeli) at the same time.

b.

Educational scholarships should be given to students with special needs, such as the poor,
orphans, children of prisoners, etc.

c.

Schools should refrain from increasing their tuition fees

UNRWA Schools:
There are 7 UNRWA schools in Jerusalem, although their students account for only 5% of the total
student population. In the early post 1967 years, UNRWA schools managed to accommodate more
students and offered adequate educational services. More recently, however, they have been short
of financial resources, particularly since the reductions in UNRWA budgets. UNRWA schools in
Jerusalem also suffer from overcrowding and only teach up to the ninth basic grade, except for
schools in Shufat refugee camp, where a tenth grade is also available. This increases the burden on
secondary schools run by other authorities in Jerusalem.

116

Challenges Stemming from the Absence of a Unified Authority


for Education in Jerusalem:

t

t
t
t
t
t
t
t

Schools run by the Israeli Ministry of Education and municipality do not fully abide by
the curriculum, either by skipping subject matters such as national education and civic
education or by skipping certain chapters in the textbooks. This impedes the achievement
of the general goals of Palestinian education, most prominently attachment to and pride
in the Palestinian identify.
Short-term and long-term planning is difficult due to the lack of necessary data, either
because such data needs to be gathered from multiple sources or because some sources
intentionally deny access to their data.
There is an evident shortage in the number of schools and classrooms in certain
neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
It is difficult to monitor school dropout rates for Jerusalemite children.
Uncoordinated planning between the different supervising bodies may lead to contrary and
sometimes conflicting directions, for example the variation in the instructions regarding
schooling days and hours and school holidays causes confusion to families, especially when
a family has children attending schools run by different authorities.
The different supervising bodies do not take responsibility for their students to take
the general final secondary exams, whether in terms of inspection during the exams or
reviewing and grading students papers. This negatively affects the management of the
exams and delays the publication of their results.
Jerusalem students lack the opportunity of actual participation in unified activities of
Palestinian nature, such as sports, cultural, artistic, folklore and voluntary events, which
is believed to weaken the sense of national identity and attachment to Palestinian culture
among Jerusalemites.
There is variation in the age of admission to grade one among the different educational
authorities, as reflected in the following table:
Supervising body

Admission age

Schools run by Palestinian Ministry of Education 7 February of the admission year (2003)
Private schools

14 April of the admission year (2003)

Israeli Ministry of Education/Municipality

25 December of the year preceding the admission year

UNRWA schools

31 January of the admission year (2003)

t
t
t

Communication between the different schools as well as between the district office and
schools is limited.
Some schools do not abide by criteria for the passing or failing grade, as some seek to get
rid of poor achievers by referring them to other schools. It could happen that some resort
to issuing school certificates that do not reflect the actual scores of the student.
The different supervising bodies adopt different criteria for accepting students, especially
when it comes to accepting students in the different secondary education tracks.

CHAPTER FIVE

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges

t
t
t
t

117

Some schools seek to recruit the best qualified teachers by offering incentives in the form
of high salaries. This results in the lesser funded schools getting less qualified teachers,
negatively impacting the education of the students.
Some schools do not abide by the requirement of endorsing the certificates and keeping
record of students scores, which may jeopardize the education of students when they are
transferred to new schools or when they take the final general secondary exams.
Staff of Israeli run schools and some private schools do not actually participate in training
courses related to the new Palestinian curriculum, which affects their ability to teach this
curriculum and increases complaints regarding the contents of the curriculum by both
teachers and students.
The lack of a unified authority has lead to lack of attention to vocational education.

Right to Education International Legal Standards and


Application
The right to education falls under of the ambit of social, economic, and cultural rights and its
importance is widely proclaimed throughout many of the major international human rights
instruments. The relevant international framework pertaining to the right to education provides
a well entrenched and legally binding position to advocate in favour of the development and
protection of the right in and around Jerusalem.

International Human Rights Law


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant of Economic,
Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) all
contain explicit references to the right to education. The relevant international standards premise
this right on the basis that education, at least at the primary level, must be free and compulsory.
Building from this platform, the major instruments seek to provide illumination through
interpretations and specifications covering a range of issues several of which address concerns that
have been identified as obstacles to the unabridged enjoyment of education rights in Jerusalem.
The most significant and comprehensive proclamation under international law addressing the
right to education appears in Article 13 of the ICESCR which attests that, Primary education
shall be compulsory and available free for all, and that states, undertake to have respect for
the liberty of parents...to choose for their children schools, other than those established by the
public authorities, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down
or approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in
conformity with their own convictionsNo part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere
with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions
In addition to the ICESR, Articles 28 and 29 the CRC provides a detailed requirement for the
guarantee of the right to education for children, obliging states to recognize the right of the
child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal
opportunity. The Article continues to ensure that primary and initial education are free and
compulsory, to encourage diverse forms of education, make higher education accessible on the
basis of capacity, and take measures to encourage attendance and reduce drop-out rates. Article 29

118

(2) states that all parties agree that, No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed
so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational
institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the
present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform
to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.
From its basis in the major human rights instruments, the right to education has received a thorough
interpretative endorsement from the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the
UN body tasked with monitoring the implementation of the ICESCR. General Comment
13 remains the most authoritative statement on education and proceeds by pronouncing the
fundamental essence that, education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of
realizing other human rights. Paragraph 6 of the Comment provides a detailed interpretation of
ICESCR Article 13(2), the right to receive an education. Availability, accessibility, acceptability,
and adaptability are identified as the essential components to the successful implementation of
the right. Paragraph 6(b) continues to illuminate upon the accessibility requirement stating
that, education has to be within safe physical reach, either by attendance at some reasonably
convenient geographical location or via modern technology. Paragraph 43 discusses the immediate
obligations of which States Parties are under, listing the guarantee that the right [to education]
will be exercised without discrimination of any kind.
Physical impediments, which compromise reasonable access to educational facilities, appear
contrary to the norms expressed through the aforementioned mechanisms. The effects of the
Annexation Wall have come under heavy criticism for imposing severe movement and access
restrictions on significant portions of the population. The effects experienced are not lost on the
education sector as both students and teachers may face numerous hindrances in accessing schools
thus resulting in an overall decrease in the quality and proficiency of education in East Jerusalem.
As seen through Paragraph 6, Comment 13 provides a general address endorsing accessibility as an
essential component to the successful implementation of the right to education as well as a direct
stipulation that educational facilities must be within a safe physical reach.
The emergent theme of discriminatory practices in relation to the right to education is based
on UNESCOs 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education. Ratified by Israel and
legally binding, the Convention seeks to provide measures aimed at the promotion of equality
of opportunity and treatment in the field of education as well as the elimination of all forms of
discrimination. Article 4(b) seeks to, ensure that the standards of education are equivalent in all
public educational institutions of the same level, and that the conditions relating to the quality
of the education are also equivalent. Article 5(c) provides a protective recognition of the, right
of members of national minorities to carry on their own educational activities, including the
maintenance of schools and, depending on the educational policy of each state, the use of the
teaching of their own language.
The diverse and staggered composition of the East Jerusalem schooling system often lends itself
to allegations that the discriminatory allotments of educational funding favours one group or fails
to take into account the position of a socially or economically disadvantaged group. In such an
instance the international framework maybe applied. Articles 4 and 5 of the UNESCO Convention
as well as Paragraph 43 of General Comment 13 provide a strong basis under international human
rights law through which discriminatory practices or policies within the field of education may be
addressed. General Comment 13 is based on an interpretation of the ICESCR which along with
the UNESCO Convention are legally binding instruments.

CHAPTER FIVE

Education in Jerusalem: Reality and Challenges

119

While the right to education is firmly embedded in international human rights law, its importance
and continuance during periods of armed conflict and belligerent occupation is explicitly protected
under international humanitarian law.
International Humanitarian Law
International Humanitarian Law directly addresses the issue of education under conditions of
occupation thus providing a particularly relevant context for the application of the right. Article
50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that, the Occupying Power shall, with the cooperation
of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the
care and education of children.
Further authoritative guidance is provided through the International Committee of the Red Crosss
commentary on the obligations entailed under Article 50 which states that, the Occupying Powers
must, with the co-operation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of
childrens institutions. That means that the occupying authorities are bound not only to avoid
interfering with their activities, but also to support them actively and even encourage them if the
responsible authorities of the country fail in their dutyThis provision assures continuity in the
educational and charitable work of the establishments referred to and is of the first importance,
since it takes effect at a point in childrens lives when the general disorganization consequent upon
war might otherwise do irreparable harm to their physical and mental development.

Conclusion
International legal advocacy offers several avenues to advance efforts aimed at the strengthening,
promotion, and enforcement of the right to education. The significance of this right, as both a
right in itself and as an indispensible means of realizing other human rights, cannot be understated.
The international legal framework, through both the mechanisms existing in human rights and
humanitarian laws, includes numerous provisions well suited to address persistent challenges that
have become commonplace in Jerusalem.

CHAPTER SIX

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the


Annexation Wall on the Economy in
East Jerusalem

121

CHAPTER SIX

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

123

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation


Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem
Prepared by: Naila Jweiles and Azzam Abul-Suood
Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jerusalem

Introduction
The Annexation Wall in the Jerusalem area is a major factor affecting the economy of
Jerusalem. This paper follows the stages of the construction of the Wall to outline the political,
economic, social and security goals of Israel, who aims to isolate Jerusalem from its the rest
of the occupied Palestinian territories, restricting access from the West Bank and facilitating
access to and from Israel.
The construction of the Wall is key to this aim, the first step of which was carried out after the
1967 war with Israels unilateral decision to annex East Jerusalem and thus unify the two parts
of the City. This was followed by expanding the boundaries of the City and imposing taxes and
other economic and social laws on Arabs living in Jerusalem. These were further accompanied by
discriminatory policies adopted by Jerusalem Municipality with the aim of forcing Arab residents
out of Jerusalem by increasing municipal taxes, reducing municipal services, severely restricting the
issuance of building licenses, and failing to allocate a qualified industrial zone for Arab residents.
Over the forty two years of occupation, Jerusalems economy has witnessed fluctuations intrinsically
linked to the political situation in the region. The main phenomenon however, has been the gradual
regression in the economy since the first Intifada in 1987 and the steep decline accompanying
the tunnel incidents in 1997 and the second Intifada in late 2000 (despite strong economic
improvement in the first nine months of 2000) . The construction of the Annexation Wall adds to
the steep decline in Jerusalems economy to a level that can be described as catastrophic.
The decline in the different economic sectors in Jerusalem is in large part a result of the various
oppressive measures by the Israeli occupation since 1967 up to the present day. The construction
of the Wall has played a significant role in the decline of Jerusalems economy, causing an imposed
isolation of the City from its surroundings. As one cannot fully understand the effects of the Wall
on the economic situation in Jerusalem without addressing the other factors that also impact the
economy, all such factors had to be considered.
We relied on data available at the Chamber and statistics and data collected by the Chamber for the
purpose of developing various studies in relation to Jerusalem, as well as statistics available from the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). We tried to ensure accuracy in the data available
to us as much as possible, knowing that the special status of Jerusalem makes collection of data a
difficult task.
This research aims to presents an accurate picture of the economy in Jerusalem and calls for serious
consideration to be given to the effects of the Wall on Jerusalems economy and subsequently
consider the necessary steps to reverse these effects.

124

Effect of the Wall on the Economic Sectors


The majority of economic sectors in Jerusalem have been adversely affected by the construction of
the Wall, which has reduced Jerusalems financial link to the Palestinian economy and increased
its links to the economy of Israel. In this way, the Wall contributes to Israels policy of weakening
the Arab presence in Jerusalem, including the Arab economy. Measures to implement this
policy include:
1.

Establishing military barriers and checkpoints at entrances to Jerusalem.

2.

Denying access to Jerusalem for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip unless
they have special permits.

3.

Tightened security checks of goods imported by Arab merchants from abroad and hindering
their clearance at seaports and airports, resulting in increased transport and storage cost
and consequently inability to compete with goods imported by Israeli agents.

The Annexation Wall comes as one of the most serious measures thus far, severely affecting occupied
Jerusalem by isolating it from its Palestinian surroundings. This study examines the effects of the
Wall on commerce, industry, tourism, services, employment, infrastructure and investment.

Commerce Sector:
Commerce in occupied Jerusalem depends on consumers in the City, who are composed of the
following groups:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Local residents
Residents of villages around Jerusalem
West Bank and Gaza Strip residents
Jewish Israelis
Arabs from inside Israel
Tourists

Since 1994, the numbers of consumers from villages around Jerusalem and from the West Bank
and Gaza Strip began gradually decreasing, until the Intifada when the number of consumers in
Jerusalem decreased significantly, reaching about 40% of the usual number of consumers in the
City. This is attributed to the following reasons:
1.

Establishing of military checkpoints and hindering entry to Jerusalem for people from
villages around the City and from other Palestinian cities.

2.

Increased cost of goods transport due to checkpoints and increased closure due to the
construction of the Wall.

3.

Increased cost of goods clearance at ports due to security search.

4.

Imposing numerous taxes on Arab citizens without consideration given to their income
levels or living standards. Tax authorities also mistrust income statements of Arab dealers
and producers and exaggerate estimations of their income.

CHAPTER SIX

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

125

5.

Increased numbers of street vendors due to increasing unemployment rates, which


adversely affects the situation of official taxpaying businesses.

6.

Decreased average income per capita in the City and consequent decrease in income
available for shopping, with a large proportion of the population limiting their purchases
to food and other essential items only.

7.

Decline in the numbers of Jewish consumers in Arab Jerusalem since the first Intifada and
their almost complete absence in the years 2001-2004.

8.

Almost complete absence of tourism activities in the years 2001-2004.

9.

Preventing tourists from entering Al-Haram As-Shareef Compound and decreasing the
number of visiting hours.

10.

With the construction of the Wall, over 120,000 citizens are forced to pass through
checkpoints in order to enter the City.

11.

Employee layoffs in a number of commercial establishments in Jerusalem due to decreased


sales.

12.

Strict denial of entry into Jerusalem markets for Palestinian products, especially food items
such as dairy products and eggs, which are cheaper than similar Israeli products.

Although statistics indicate that there are 5921 economic establishments in Jerusalem, including
commercial and other types, only about one third of this figure are members in the Chamber of
Commerce in Jerusalem. Figure 1 presents the number of economic establishments in Jerusalem
(PCBS). Figure 2 presents the number of establishments registered at the Chamber of Commerce
by sector, demonstrating the importance of the commercial sector in the City.

Figure 1: Number of economic establishments in Jerusalem district 2002-2007 (PCBS)

126

Figure 2: Distribution of members in the Chamber of Commerce by sector, 2007 (Chamber


of Commerce) 2007
Table 1 presents types of economic activity in Jerusalem City in terms of the number of
establishments, number of workers and production size in 2007 according to data published by
PCBS in June 2008.
Table 1: Number of establishments, workers and production size in the commercial sector,
2007 (PCBS 2007)
Economic activity
Automobile sale and
maintenance, fuel sales

No. of establishments

No. of workers

Production size
($1,000)

118

391

18,176.5

25

107

2,837.1

Retail trading and repair


of personal goods

1367

2560

37,622.9

Total

1510

3058

58,638.5

Wholesale trading

Retail Trade Inside the City:


As demonstrated in Table 1, the retail trade has the largest production size and number of
employees. This large share of retail trade is due to the number of shoppers from outside the
City, an increased commitment by local residents to shop in their City and the increased number
of Arabs from Israel shopping in Jerusalem over the past five years. In addition, PCBS estimates
that production size has increased by 50% compared to its level as of 2001.. Even constituting the
largest economic commerce type, retail trade has actually declined to about 40% of its size in 2000
(Chamber of Commerce).

CHAPTER SIX

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

127

In summary, the adverse Israeli measures have resulted in the following effects:
a.

Significant decline in the number of people from outside the City shopping in the
Jerusalem commercial market.

b.

Approximately half of the local residents tend to shop outside Jerusalem.

c.

Merchants holding West Bank IDs and owning shops in Jerusalem face difficulties in
reaching their shops and need to obtain permits to do so.

d.

Retail dealers from Jerusalem district who hold West Bank IDs need to obtain permits to
access the City, however these are not easily obtained.

Wholesale Trade (distribution and agencies):


Arab wholesale dealers, agents and suppliers face unfair competition with Israeli dealers, including
expensive security checks at Israeli ports and high costs at military checkpoints. This discrimination
may cause the Arab dealers, agents and suppliers to lose their agencies or at least face some decline
in the size of their sales. In summary, wholesale trade is affected in the following ways:
a.

Decreased number of wholesale dealers.

b.

Increased price of goods.

c.

Isolation of areas that have been vital for Jerusalem economy, such as Bir Nabala a
major center for wholesale trade, storage and supply to Jerusalem and the rest of the West
Bank. The same applies also to areas in the east, southeast, north, northwest and northeast
to Jerusalem. This isolation is directly caused by the construction of the Wall and its
accompanying checkpoints.

Reciprocal Trade:
Reciprocal trade refers to transport and exchange of goods, in this instance between different
Palestinian cities and districts. The Chamber of Commerce issued a questionnaire on reciprocal
trade in Jerusalem and the suburbs in order to assess its status in view of the constant closure and
the construction of the Wall. Findings were as follows:
1.

Dealers of food items in Jerusalem have almost stopped trading with the Gaza Strip.
About 20% of wholesales used to be directed at Gaza Strip in the past.

2.

The cost of transport associated with reciprocal trade has increased by 30-40%
a. The majority of Jerusalem wholesalers warehouses are located in West Bank areas. The
cost of transporting goods from these warehouses to shops in Jerusalem (Bethany to
Jerusalem or Al-Ram to Jerusalem, for example) has increased by 30%.
b. The Bir Nabala area has become a new problem in respect to transporting goods to
Jerusalem, since dealers are forced to use lengthy routes and transport cost has increased
by over 40%.

3.

The passage of goods through Israeli checkpoints (Zayem checkpoint for dealers from

128

Bethany area) are not subject to particular guidelines and, according to dealers, are subject
to the mood of soldiers manning these crossings. Goods have be turned back or kept
loaded on trucks until the soldiers shift changes. Sometimes soldiers regard the goods as
coming from Arab producers just because they carry labels of their contents in Arabic.
4.

A considerable number of companies have been forced to register twice as an Arab company
in the West Bank and as a Jerusalem-based company with Israeli registration.

5.

A considerable number of companies have been forced to rent warehouses in Israeli areas
and started to issue shipping vouchers from the companys address in these warehouses.
This means that such businesses are being registered as trade between Israel and the West
Bank or Israel and East Jerusalem.

6.

Dealers suffer from inadequate provision of clearance vouchers from Palestinian tax
departments.

7.

Fewer numbers of Jerusalemites living beyond the Wall are shopping in the City due to
difficulties in passing through the Wall and checkpoints. These include psychological, physical
and financial difficulties (resulting from the significant increase in transportation costs).

Industry Sector:
Industry comprises about 14% of Jerusalem economy. The largest single industry in Jerusalem is
considered to be the Jerusalem Tobacco Company, with sales tax on cigarettes constituting a major
source of local tax income for the Palestinian Authority (PA).
A number of factories in Jerusalem and its suburbs, including shoes, textile, leather garments and
babies diaper industry, have been forced to reduce their production or totally shut down their
business due to:
1.

Decreased demand on local products (especially non-food products) to one third only.

2.

Weak competitive abilities of local products in view of the increased cost of delivery caused
by the closure.

3.

Problems facing workers access to their work sites and decreased number of production
hours to around one third only.

4.

Increased cost of raw materials due to the increased cost of transport from ports and
security searches.

5.

Increased cost of transport and delivery of ready-made products.

6.

Decreased potentials for export due to difficulties at Israeli ports and through border
crossings with Jordan and Egypt.

7.

Increased percentage of losses in materials due to damages caused by security checks and
long hours of transport.

8.

Many industrial producers turned their businesses into importers of the same goods they
used to produce due to the effects of globalization and inability to compete global prices
and products.

CHAPTER SIX

129

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

Tourism Sector:
The tourism sector comprises about 40% of economy in East Jerusalem. This sector has been
among the most affected since the outburst of the Intifada due to the following:
1.

Tourist flow to Jerusalem severely dropped and all reservations were cancelled between
October 2000 and by the end of 2005.

2.

Arab hotels in Jerusalem (43 hotels) started to shutdown and gradually lay off their
workers and employees. In 2003, the occupancy rate was less than 8% across 37 hotels.
In the 6 remaining hotels, occupancy rates ranged between 10-23% in the same year. The
following table illustrates the development of Arab hotels working in Jerusalem in the
period 2000-2007:

Table 2: Number of hotels and rooms in Jerusalem district by year


Year

# hotels

# rooms

2000

43

1997

2001

29

836

2002

21

915

2003

20

907

2004

23

985

2005

18

869

2006

22

1209

2007

26

1249

3.

Banks began requiring tourist transport companies (17 companies owning 220 tourist
buses in mid 2002) to pay the renewal fees for 90% of their buses in 2000. In view of
companies inability to pay their dues, over 70% of the buses were sold, some in public
auction and for very cheap prices as being impounded by banks. As a result, the number
of tourist buses decreased to less than 60. Between 2005-2007, some tourist transport
companies managed to purchase about 35 new buses. However, the available number of
such buses in the City remains inadequate to meet the needs of the tourism sector.

4.

Unemployment levels reached an unprecedented high at over 35%.

5.

A number of souvenir shops were forced to shut down in view of their inability to pay recurrent
expenses and taxes (up to 350 shops in late 2002 alone). This number was subsequently
reduced by almost one half as some shopkeepers managed to change their type of business.

6.

Travel agencies were disrupted and some limited their activities to ticket sales only. In
addition, the 160 Arab tourist guides in occupied Jerusalem have been unemployed most
of the time from 2000-2004. Business for tourist restaurants has also declined to its lowest
levels during that period.

7.

Although tourism in occupied Jerusalem has improved since the beginning of 2005 and
some hotels managed to resume functioning, competition has increased due to 3 new
Israeli hotels adjacent to local tourist sites.

130

Public service sector:


With regard to the public service sector, this study can draw only a limited picture due to lack of
information. The information that is available suggests that this sector could be the most affected
by the construction of the Wall.

Transport:
Prior to 1987, 47 passenger transport companies used to work on fixed routes between Jerusalem
and other Palestinian cities and villages. After 1987, licenses held by these companies were
cancelled one after another until their number was reduced to 17 companies currently operating.
Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the transport sector in Jerusalem is the only sector that has
managed to flourish in the past five years for the following reasons:
1.

Jerusalem-registered vehicles can have access to Israeli ports and can use the bypass roads,
while Palestinian vehicles are banned from using these roads. Therefore, Jerusalemregistered vehicles often replace other vehicles with Palestinian registration in offering
services to Palestinian West Bank-based companies.

2.

Passenger transport companies have been reorganized and their buses renewed, bringing
order back to the transport sector.

The table below illustrates the number of establishments and workers in the transport sector, as
well as their total production in US $1000:
Table 3: Number of establishments and workers and production size in the land transport
sector in 2004
Economic activity

# establishments

# workers

Production size in US
$1000

58

521

14,650.8

101

790

30,149.1

Land transport
Total

Contracting Services:
Unlicensed construction is the only means available to Jerusalemites given the increasing demand
on housing units and the Israeli policy of restricting the number of building licenses granted by
Jerusalem municipality as well as the very high cost of obtaining a building licenses, which can be
as high as US $100 per square meter.
The construction of the Wall has been accompanied by a number of measures taken by the
municipality in relation to unlicensed building. These include:
1.

An evident increase in the demolition of unlicensed buildings.

2.

Confiscation of machinery used by contractors working on an unlicensed building, in


addition to heavy fines.

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Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

131

3.

Exerting pressures on suppliers of building materials.

4.

Denial of work permits to West Bank workers wishing to work in the construction sector
in Jerusalem, leading to increased cost of building as wages of workers from Jerusalem are
usually higher than wages for those from the West Bank.

5.

Raids and inspection in construction sites, whether licensed or unlicensed, to search for
West Bank workers who do not have work permits. These workers are arrested and fines
are imposed on them and/or on the contractor.

With the increased migration of people from areas beyond the Wall to areas inside the Wall,
construction works have decreased in areas outside the Wall, such as Al-Ram, Bethany, Bir Nabala
and others. However, this has not been matched with increased construction works inside the
Wall, leading to a decline in the prices and rent fees of houses and lands outside the Wall and a
very sharp increase in the prices and rent fees inside the Wall (40%). The decline in the contracting
sector is estimated to be more than 50% since the year 2000. In addition, the proportion of vacant
apartments in some areas such as Al-Ram has reached about 30% of total apartments.

Electricity:
Dues owed to the Electricity Company have been sharply increasing and in response, the company
was forced to increase its staff in order to run decentralized offices in the peripheral areas, leading
to increased operational costs.
The company started to address this issue by using modern economic methods, such as the
introduction of prepaid chargers, rescheduling of consumers dues, the linkage line with Jordan,
and a project for solar energy in the production of electricity. All these solutions have contributed
to the prevention of collapse in the electricity sector.

Financial Sector:
1.

Banks: The Jerusalem economy is almost wholly dependent on Israeli banks as Arab banks
are banned from practicing within the City. Nevertheless, Arab banks offer some services
to Jerusalem traders through some branches located in the district outside the City. These
services are inadequate, as in offering credit services, the banks do not accept real estate
guarantees from traders and other citizens from Jerusalem City.

2.

Arbitrary measures against money changers in the City: Money changing is one of the
services that has a sizable impact on the Jerusalem economy. A major Israeli measure
against this sector was a simultaneous raid by military forces on a number of money
changing offices, where over US $1 million was confiscated from money changers who
were notified that they were practicing illegally and that they should register at the Israeli
official authorities and abide by the relevant Israeli systems and instructions. This act
comes in spite of the fact that some of these offices have been working in money changing
for generations, including before the occupation. When the money changers sought to
recover the confiscated money, the Israeli authorities refused to return it and considered
these amounts as part of tax settlements. Many of these money changers were unable to go
back in business after they had to fully abide by the relevant Israeli laws.

132

Employment in Jerusalem:
A rapid overview of the status of economic establishments in Jerusalem demonstrates that 45% of
the establishments are located within the municipal borders, with tourist establishments composing
about 28%, while 55% are located within the district but outside the municipal borders. There is
no industrial zone in the City.
An analysis of the number of economic establishments shows that their number has been declining
by an average of 100 per annum since 1999 and through 2002. Since 2002 however, the number
has started to increase, partially in light of improvements in the tourism situation and partially
because of some university graduates tendency to establish their own businesses due to their
inability to find a job within their field of specialty. At the present time there are 6631 economic
establishments in the City, but 97% of these are small-scale. The decline in the numbers of
economic establishments is a result of the prevailing economic situation, the deteriorated status of
tourism, closure and checkpoints, and most recently the Wall, which is expected to cause a sharp
decline and to a larger extent during the coming period.
Although a superficial view on the matter may indicate that the situation of economic establishments
in Jerusalem is better off than that of similar establishments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the
realities on the ground point to the opposite. The Wall is in fact isolating Jerusalem from the
West Bank, as an attempt to integrate the remaining numbers of Jerusalemites inside the Israeli
delineated borders of Jerusalem and the Israeli economy and society. The increasing number of
establishments fails to convey an accurate picture.
In Jerusalem City, about 9,000 new workers enter the labor market on an annual basis, with
university students comprising about 15% of the new work force. The rest are school dropouts or
students completing their secondary education. Usually, the Israeli labor market absorbs 35-40%
of the total, while the rest turn to the Palestinian market in Jerusalem and PA areas for employment
in the private and public sectors. At best, the public sector can absorb 10% only, leaving a large
proportion of the responsibility to the private sector.
There is also a problem related to ex-prisoners, who have been detained by the Israeli authorities
for security charges. After their release, ex-prisoners face problems in finding employment at any
Jerusalem-based establishment.
Unemployment rates in Jerusalem, peaked in 2002 at 23% for those holding blue (Israeli) IDs and
30% for those holding West Bank IDs (the district average was 27%). It is estimated that there
are more than 20,000 unemployed workers in Jerusalem City and district, indicating how large
scale the problem is.
Recent years have witnessed a decline in unemployment rates compared to 2002. However, as
stated above, this was a sort of shift from full unemployment to hidden unemployment. This
decline reflects the fact that many unemployed workers have given up registering as unemployed
because they have lost hope of finding a job through these offices.
Nevertheless, the unemployment rate remains high compared to international standards and even
to the rate of 1999, which was 10% lower.

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Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

133

Figure 3: Unemployment rate in Jerusalem district, 2001-2007.


The figure above shows a gradual decline in unemployment since 2002, especially in 2005, when
tourism in the City started to improve.
The problem becomes more serious, however, when we look at the current capacity of Jerusalems
economy to absorb the workforce. Investment in projects to provide employment for workers is
difficult due to the migration of capital from conflict areas to safer and more stable areas. This
situation provides a pessimistic outlook for the problem of unemployment in Jerusalem.
In view of the Israeli plan to reduce reliance on the Arab work force and increase reliance on
foreign workers, especially those coming from Southeast Asia, Arab Jerusalemites have been
directly affected by this situation although they carry blue IDs as opposed to West Bank IDs.
Many of them have lost their jobs and been registered at the Israeli labor offices as unemployed.
Any schemes to increase or improve social allowances for the unemployed and this is what
Israel is doing in spite of some reservations and complications when it comes to the Arab citizens
of Jerusalem will eventually lead to creating an idle army of passive recipients and will never
contribute to reviving our society and economy.

Infrastructure and Facilities:


Despite the responsibility of Jerusalem Municipality to provide facilities and maintain infrastructure
throughout the City, there is an obvious lack of attention and severe neglect of the Arab parts of
Jerusalem on the part of the municipality. The most important indicators in this regard are Israeli
statistics, which show that the expenditure of Jerusalem municipality on services in Jerusalems Arab
neighborhoods does not exceed 5% of its total expenditure in all areas of the City, although the Arab
population comprise 35% of the total population and pay 33% of the total municipal tax revenues.

134

No industrial zone is established in East Jerusalem to serve Arab industrialists. As a result, many
have been forced to rent or purchase lands or buildings for their establishments in the industrial
zone of Qalandia (Atarot). Arab establishments in Atarot comprise almost 40% of the total
establishments in the area.
The housing shortage resulting from the reverse migration from outside the City to inside is a
major problem for Jerusalemites. The City has gone through a significant decrease in income
levels against a huge increase in expenditure levels, particularly in regard to the increased housing
costs. The Israeli policies of denying or restricting building licenses and demolishing houses built
without a license result in the need for at least 1000 new housing units to be built annually. This
situation is further aggravated by the scarcity of lands due to land confiscation and construction of
Jewish neighborhoods in the periphery of the municipal borders, as well as the fragmentation of
land ownerships, the threats of the so-called guardian of absentees properties, and land stealing by
forgers and mobsters. The situation necessitates the adoption of the following steps:

t
t
t
t
t

t
t
t

Funding the development of structural schemes for small lots in order to make them
suitable for building.
Solving the possible number of cases of fragmented ownerships, using the expertise of
legal, engineering and urban planning offices.
Encouraging vertical construction of the existing buildings by increasing the number of
floors and finding an engineering office to develop the relevant schemes and follow up the
licensing process.
Working to revoke the order to close the Palestinian Housing Council in Jerusalem and
increasing the funding of this Council in order to expand the scope of loans to include the
costs of licensing as well.
Providing additional funding to organizations working on the reconstruction of the Old
City in order to expand their work and increase the number of restored houses while
preserving the architectural heritage of Jerusalem. Recruiting a specialized office to
assess the restoration works carried out to date and to provide guidance to the existing
reconstruction organizations.
Forming popular neighborhood committees that would assume resolution of conflicts and
address social issues and land disputes.
Supporting legal defense organizations in Jerusalem to confront the silent expulsion
of Jerusalemites, especially in cases related to the Wall , ID withdrawal and land
confiscation.
Pressuring Arab banks to accept Jerusalem-based real estate guarantees in offering credit
services to Jerusalem traders and citizens.

Investment in Jerusalem:
To help generate investment in East Jerusalem, focus should be given to investments and search for
investors, particularly encouraging long term investments that are developed in the course of several
years. Donor support should be directed at establishing an industrial zone with a full range of services to
encourage investment in long term projects. Although local and Arab investors exist, as well as surplus

CHAPTER SIX

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

135

funds to invest in, there is always reluctance to make investments and employ the surplus of local
funds because of fears of instability in the region. In other words, East Jerusalem has been regarded a
high risk area for investment, preventing potential investors from investing their funds in the City and
prompting them to find investment opportunities outside the City for domestic product surplus.
Therefore, we should invest part of external support funds in alleviating investors fears. The best
way to do so is to create an investment guarantee fund that would ensure adequate revenues
from investments and guarantee that the political and security situation will not affect investors
projects. The management of such fund should be protected from opportunistic intentions and
political factionalism.
Attention should also be paid to training. The German model of vocational training, led by the
German Chambers of Vocations is perhaps the best model for us to adopt. This model helped
Germany to rebuild their shattered economy after World War II. Jerusalem suffers the same lack
of investment, and we can also succeed and excel as Germany did if we manage training well. The
vocational model can help us improve our small-scale establishments and turn some into mediumscale establishments that can absorb the new labor force entering the labor market, reducing
unemployment rates.
The successful experience of the Chamber of Commerce and the Union of Chambers of Commerce
in the training and employment project for new graduates should be adopted and the number of
beneficiaries should be increased, as it will eventually provide people with expertise to help develop
Jerusalems economy in general.
Jerusalems economy is mainly dependent on tourism, services and trade, with industry comprising
a small proportion only and agriculture not factoring in. The current unemployment rate stands
at about 13.4%. The newcomers to the labor market are estimated at 9000 new workers per year.
The private sector is the largest employer in the City, but second to the Israeli market, which is
attempting to reduce absorption of Arab labor force. The Palestinian market remains the largest
employer for Arab university graduates, but they may start to face great difficulties in reaching
their worksites upon the completion of Wall construction. During the period 2001-2004, tourism
suffered a complete recession, leading to disruption of the Citys tourist assets, selling of some
tourist facilities and utilization of others for different functions.

In this regard, the following is recommended:


1.

Link 20 hotels in Jerusalem with credit sources to help renew their infrastructure.

2.

Ensure credit sources to fund the renewal of tourist buses in the City.

3.

Create additional tourist attraction sites in Jerusalem other than religious sites to discourage
tourists from opting to stay in West Jerusalem.

4.

Increase the number of international projects aimed at creating new job opportunities
in Jerusalem.

5.

Revive handicraft business in Jerusalem, especially in streets with the highest level of closed
shops in the Old City.

6.

Support the transport sector in order to replace the Israeli transport services operating in
Palestinian areas.

136

7.

Provide soft loans for housing purposes, including licensing costs, in order to encourage
development of licensed building projects that can absorb the largest possible number of
workers.

8.

Develop the capacity of training institutions in order to help train skilled laborers in
various fields of specialty (vocational training).

9.

Support legal consultation organizations which defend the rights of Jerusalemites in the
economic, social and services fields.

Ability of Jerusalems Economy to Cope With the Present Situation


The Annexation Wall will strangulate East Jerusalems economy if it maintains its current form
and composition. The City has to adapt its economy in order to quickly manage and cope. In the
absence of a national authority governing East Jerusalem, the private sector should take initiative
and develop its ability to cope with the challenges of survival in the coming period. The following
steps are recommended for the private sector to follow:
1.

Focus economic endeavors on tourism, which is the main potential for increased revenue
for Jerusalem.

2.

Working to extend foreign tourists stay in East Jerusalem. Each additional hour will bring
the City an additional income of about US $25 million per year.

3.

Direct potential investments in Jerusalem towards the tourist sector, which requires:

4.

renovating the tourist infrastructure that was damaged between 2000-2005,

5.

creating new and diversified tourist attraction sites and keeping abreast with new
developments in the tourism industry,

6.

increasing the promotion of Jerusalem as a stand-alone tourist site as well as within joint
tourist programs with neighboring countries,

7.

developing the cultural and recreational life in Jerusalem to respond to and keep up with
tourist needs in a more attractive way, and encouraging the private sector to invest in this
field,

8.

increasing the number of Arab hotel rooms by establishing new hotels able to compete
with the Israeli hotels,

9.

turning Saladin Street and Zahra Street to pedestrian areas,

10.

reviving handicraft industry in Jerusalem by encouraging fathers to train the younger


generations or through training courses abroad (shop owners at Silsilah Gate may be
encouraged to use that area for this purpose).

11.

Reviving the Qattanin market in the Old City, as well as renovating Mamluki and Turkish
baths.

12.

Encourage investment in housing and construction to ensure availability of adequate


houses for the largest possible number of East Jerusalemites.

CHAPTER SIX

Effects of the Israeli closure system, the Annexation Wall on the Economy in East Jerusalem

13.

137

Increase attention to renovating houses in the Old City, including houses outside Jerusalem
walls, in order to ensure a better life quality for residents and attractiveness of the Old City
for tourists.

As part of its constant struggle for survival, Jerusalem City needs to adapt its situation to the new
developments imposed by the Annexation Wall. Since there is no national authority to serve the
Arab residents of Jerusalem and there is no official political leadership in the City, the private
sector remains the only sector that has relative freedom of movement and can lead the City in this
struggle for survival in order to maintain the Arab character and culture of East Jerusalem.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, this study indicates that a lot can be done to preserve Jerusalem City from being
fully annexed to the Israeli economic system and to keep it economically self-reliant.
We estimate that Jerusalem City is in need of immediate investments in the range of US $150
million as a starting point for the coming three years. These investments should include the fields
of housing, tourism, renovation of the Old City and development of handicraft industry in the
City.
In order to encourage local, Arab, Islamic and international investment in East Jerusalem and
relieve investors fears of risks associated with investment in the City, the creation of a US $50
million fund to provide guarantees against investment risks is essential to attract capitals.
Investment in Jerusalem should not be viewed as solely an economic endeavor subject to the
factors of win or lose, but rather a national and religious endeavor to preserve the Arab character
of the Holy City.
In order to encourage external investors, we should first encourage local investment and demonstrate
the ability to convince investors, starting from networking and integration of tourist, commercial,
cultural, educational and service sectors to provide a solid platform against Israeli competition.

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Annexation Wall and International Law

139

CHAPTER SEVEN

141

The Annexation Wall and International Law

The Annexation Wall and International Law


Nasser Arayes
Legal Researcher Al- Haq

Introduction
This study holds that the Annexation Wall that Israel has been constructing inside the West
Bank since mid 2002 is one of the most serious violations of international law perpetrated by
Israel as an Occupying Power. The Wall has negatively impacted various aspects of Palestinian
life including education, employment, health and residency among others, and is a violation of
Palestinians right to self-determination. The Wall is being used by the Israeli authorities as a tool
to annex Palestinian land and change the geographic and demographic realities in the Occupied
Territories as well as in Israel. In so doing, the Wall is destroying Palestinian private property and
means of survival through agriculture, as well as damaging the natural environment and denying
Palestinians the protection afforded them under international humanitarian law as protected
persons under military occupation.
The Annexation Wall has led to or directly caused the following damage in the Occupied
Territories:
1.

The destruction of the Palestinian agricultural sector through the destruction of thousands
of dunums of arable land by Israeli authorities for the construction of the Wall. To date, the
construction has led to the uprooting of 100,000 olive trees, the confiscation of 165,000
dunums of land, the razing of 230,000 dunums of land, and the isolation of 238,350
dunums of land. The Wall has also separated farmers from their land in 71 different
villages, depriving thousands of Palestinians of their regular income. The destruction of
land is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

2.

Palestinian cities and populations have been suffocated and besieged hindering the
development, growth and expansion of Palestinian demography. Israel has appropriated
the most important sources of Palestinian water located in the occupied territories through
land confiscation or declaration of certain land as military zones. These closures and
confiscations have led to Israels control of the western aquifer which is one of the most
important underground sources in the West Bank. Palestinians have also lost 40 water
wells to the Israelis.

3.

Hundreds of Palestinian families have been transferred and displaced from their homes to
other locations in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) as a result of the Wall, causing
either a loss of income sources, or an increase in restriction on movement, monitored and
implemented by the Israeli authorities.

4.

In addition to direct and declared land confiscation for the construction of the Wall, Israeli
authorities are also using the Wall as a tool for the appropriation of land. Palestinians have
been deprived thousands of dunums of land with the construction of the Wall. Their access
to their land is prevented or restricted by Israeli authorities for alleged security measures.
The appropriation of land by the occupying power is prohibited under international
humanitarian law. Israeli appropriation of land within the territories it occupies contravenes

142

its obligations under Geneva Convention IV. Article 47 of the Convention states that
Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in
any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any annexation by the
[Occupying Power] of the whole or part of the occupied territory. Israel as the Occupying
Power is prohibited from changing the laws or borders within the territory it is occupying.
5.

The Wall and its accompanying checkpoints have severely restricted the freedom of
movement of Palestinians. Those with Israeli IDs cannot cross into many areas outside
the Wall, and the vast majority of Palestinians with West Bank ID cannot cross into
occupied Jerusalem. The right to liberty of movement is recognized under Article 12(1)
of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that everyone
lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty
of movement and freedom to choose his residence. Article 12(4) states that no one shall
be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

6.

The Wall also affects Palestinians rights to work, health and education, all recognized by
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under Articles 6, 12
and 13 respectively. For example, the Wall has negatively affected 170,000 students in 320
schools and has denied an estimated 220,000 residents in 30 locations their access to health
centers and capacity to obtain medical services. Teachers in schools also have difficulty in
getting to and from their schools, which also impacts the education on their students.

7.

The Wall has caused the dispersal and separation of many family members. The Wall and
Israeli policies on residency in Jerusalem and on family reunification have together led to
the disintegration of many families, where children are denied their right to know and be
cared for by their parents, enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child under
Article 7. Further, the family is recognized as the natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by society and the state[294].

8.

The Wall has caused extensive damage to the Palestinian environment, razing fertile land
and destroying the habitats of animals and plants, as well as contributing to the deterioration
of water supplies. A recognized component of customary international humanitarian law
is the protection and preservation of the natural environment[295].

Overview of the Annexation Wall under International Law


The successive Israeli governments have justified Palestinian land confiscation and appropriation
to construct the Annexation Wall by stating security requirements and urgent military needs in
order to ensure the security and safety of its citizens against attacks perpetrated by residents of
the occupied Palestinian territories (OPt). Regardless of this justification, the Annexation Wall is
considered illegal under international humanitarian law, and its effects on the population of the
OPt constitute various violations of international human rights law.

[294]

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, GA Resolution 2200A , 1966. Article 23. Similar language is also
used in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, GA Resolution 2200A, 1966. Article 10, which
provides for the widest possible protection and assistance to be given to the family.

[295]

See Rules 43 through 45 of J.-M. Henckaerts, Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law, International
Review of the Red Cross, Volume 87, Number 857, March 2005.

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Annexation Wall and International Law

143

International Humanitarian Law:


Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 explicitly prohibits the annexation of land. As
a State Party to the Geneva Conventions, Israel is obligated to uphold and respect the provisions of
the Geneva Conventions, including the Section III of Part III of the Fourth Geneva Convention,
relating to occupied territories. Other agreements that Israel is bound by under treaty based
international law relating to armed conflict are the Second Optional Protocol to the Convention
on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
In addition to treaty based humanitarian law, there are a recognized set of rules that fall under
customary international law. These apply to all States during times of armed conflict, including the
occupation of territories. There are some provisions of international humanitarian law, therefore,
that although Israel might not have signed on to under treaty based law, it is still obligated to
uphold and respect to the extent they may also fall under customary law. This is because of
the extent to which the rules included in customary international law are recognized by States
internationally as applicable in times of armed conflict. This includes for example, Article 75 of
the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions and related to the protection of victims of
armed conflicts of 1977 (Protocol 1), and other provisions set out by the International Committee
of the Red Cross.
In this regard, we can sum up the violations by the occupying power, Israel, of its obligations under
international humanitarian law through its construction of the Annexation Wall as follows:
1.

A clear violation of article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention resulting from the
unjustified and large scale demolition and destruction of Palestinian private and public
property to construct the Wall.

2.

A violation of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention[296] resulting from forced


collective or individual transfer of Palestinians from their places of residence that have
been isolated by the Wall to other locations inside the occupied Palestinian territories,
without provision of adequate accommodation for those displaced.[297]

3.

A clear violation of article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits any
change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or
government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities
of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter
of the whole or part of the occupied territory that would in any way deprive protected
persons in occupied territories their protection under the Convention.

4.

The protection and preservation of the natural environment during times of armed conflict,
recognized by the ICRC as constituting customary international humanitarian law[298].

[296]

Article 53 stipulates that 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 cooperative organizations, is
prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

[297]

Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention permits the total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the
population or imperative military reasons so demand, however the occupying power has the duty to ensure, to the greatest
practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in
satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.

[298]

See Rules 43 through 45 of J.-M. Henckaerts, Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law, International
Review of the Red Cross, Volume 87, Number 857, March 2005.

144

5.

A clear violation of the text and content of article 23 of the Lahia agreement that banned
the destruction or seizure of the enemys properties except where such destruction or
seizure is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations

6.

A clear violation of the text and content of article 46 of the Lahia agreement that frankly
and absolutely banned the confiscation of private property.

7.

Violation of the provision of article 47 of the Lahia agreement that frankly and
absolutely banned the stealing by the occupying power of properties, resources and
project in the OT.

8.

Violation of the provision of article 55 of the Lahia agreement resulting from transgression
of the occupying power to the code of benefit in relation to public properties.

International Human Rights Law:


The Annexation Wall violates the right of Palestinians to self-determination, enshrined under
Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Under Article
1, by virtue of the right to self-determination, all peoples freely determine their political status
and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development and may for their own
ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources. The Article further states clearly and
unconditionally that in no case may a person be deprived of its own means of subsistence[299].
Self-determination is also recognized within Chapter 1 on the purposes of the United Nations,
which includes To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle
of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to
strengthen universal peace[300].
In addition to self-determination, the destruction of Palestinians means of revenue (destroying
their land used for agriculture) is a violation of the right to an adequate standard of living and the
right to work[301], which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by
work which he freely chooses or accepts.
The Annexation Wall also restricts the right to liberty of movement of Palestinians, which is
enshrined in Article 12 of the ICCPR, along with the right to freedom to choose residence[302].
The destruction of land and property (including homes) as a result of the construction of the
Wall constitute violations of the right to respect of privacy, family, home and correspondence and
protection of honor and reputation[303]; and the right to an adequate standard of living, which
includes adequate housing and the continuous improvement of living conditions[304].

[299]

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, GA Resolution 2200A , 1966. Article 1. See also Article 1 of the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, GA Resolution 2200A, 1966. Both are ratified by Israel.

[300]

Charter of the United Nations, Chapter 1, Article 1(2). Signed on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco, United States of
America. Available at http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter1.htm

[301]
[302]
[303]
[304]

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,1966. Article 6.


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, GA Resolution 2200A , 1966. Article 12.
Ibid, Article 17.
Supra note 8, Article 11.

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145

The legal framework applicable to Israeli construction of the


Annexation Wall:
The rules and regulations related to military occupation[305] obligate the occupying power to avoid
actions related to the unjustified confiscation, destruction and damage of private property, to avoid
the transfer and displacement of the residents of the occupied territory outside the location of their
residences, and prohibit the transfer of populations of the occupying power to occupied lands.
Within the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Article 47 prohibits changes into the institutions
or government of occupied territories or the annexation of land. Article 47 is not qualified and
cannot be derogated from under any circumstances. In order words, no justification on the part of
Israel would validate any annexation of land or change within the government or institutions that
would deprive Palestinians of their protection under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Other provisions, such as the destruction of property, do provide for some derogation depending
on the circumstance. Article 53 prohibits any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or
personal property, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military
operations. In its Advisory Opinion on the Wall, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) outlined
the requirements for derogation of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. After considering
the facts submitted to it, the ICJ was not convinced that the destructions carried out contrary to
the prohibition in Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention were rendered absolutely necessary
by military operations.[306]
Further, the Fourth Geneva Convention has specified a number of acts and behavior that if
perpetrated by the occupying power, can be deemed as grave breaches of the convention (and
therefore international humanitarian law). Article 147 of the Convention stipulates that grave
breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts,
if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: willful killing,
torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering
or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement
of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power,
or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the
present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not
justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly (emphasis added). It has
been shown that the International Court of Justice did not, in its Advisory Opinion on the Wall,
believe the destruction or property for the construction of the Wall to be justified by military
necessity. The destruction of public and private Palestinian property by Israel for the construction
of the Wall thus constitutes a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as defined under
Article 147 of the convention.
The Court also addressed Israels right and duty to respond in order to protect the life of its
citizens, however emphasized that the measures taken in this regard are bound to conform to

[305]

The principal norms of international humanitarian law dealing with occupation stem from Section III of Part III of the
4th Geneva Convention of 1949, and customary international law. The latter has been compiled and documented in a study by
the International Committee of the Red Cross, entitled Customary Internatonal Humanitarian Law, and edited by Jean-Marie
Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck. A summary can be found online at http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/
p0860?opendocument .

[306]

For more details, please refer to the ICJ Advisory Opinion of July 2004, in particular to paragraph 122. For the security
alibis,, please refer to paragraphs 137 and 138. Available at http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&k=5a&cas
e=131&code=mwp&p3=4

146

international law applicable to Israel[307].It should also be mentioned here that the member states
have not referred to the 1st protocol of the Geneva Convention but held that article 85 was sufficient
to describe the Israeli actions as grave violations.
As a matter of fact, Israeli measures associated with the wall construction which are not justified
by military necessity, fall within the category of war crimes which according to the principles
and rules of international law require accountability and punishment of those who ordered
the perpetration of these crimes, the perpetrators themselves, the inciters and the planners of
these schemes.

Legal Mechanisms for Confronting the Wall


The ICJ advisory opinion issued on 9 July 2004 on the legal implications of the construction of
a Wall by Israel, on occupied Palestinian lands[308] is a legal achievement in favor of Palestinians
and their rights under international law. The Advisory Opinion sets a precedent for the
international judiciary with regards to the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian
people living under occupation.
The most important issues indicated in the Advisory Opinion can be summed up in the following
legal principles:
1.

Affirmation of the applicability of the term occupation to the Palestinian territories and
therefore the applicability and validity of international humanitarian law regulating the
rights and obligations of the Occupying Power in addition to the rights of Palestinians as
protected persons living under occupation.

2.

Affirmation of the legitimate right of Palestinians to self determination

3.

Affirmation of the obligations of Israel related to the respect and application of the
international law of human rights (namely the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
and the Convention on the Rights of the Child) and affirmation of the application of the
international human rights law to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

4.

Affirmation of the prohibition on acquisition and annexation of land of others by force


and the necessity of the Occupying Power to respect this. Recognition of the risk of
annexation posed by the Wall in its current and planned route within the occupied West
Bank. Rejection of justifications provided by Israel for derogation of its obligations under
international humanitarian law, specifically the destruction of property and related claims
of military and security necessity.

5.

Affirmation of the illegitimacy of the Wall for its contravention of the principles and rules
of international law.

[307]

Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. ICJ Advisory Opinion, (2004)
para 141.

[308]

the ruling was issued in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution ES-10 / 14 issued during the exception and
urgent period and held on 8 Dec 2003

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147

6.

Affirmation of the occupying powers liability as a result of its contravention with the
principles and rules of international law in its construction of the Wall.

7.

Affirmation of the obligation of Israel as the occupying power to return the land, orchards,
olive groves and other immovable property seized or if impossible, to compensate the
persons in question for the damage suffered, as well as compensate all natural or legal persons
having suffered any form of material damage as a result of the Walls construction[309]

Israels accountability for its actions under international law is of paramount importance. This
includes both civil and criminal liability and affects Israeli authorities as well as Palestinians who
have suffered material damage due to the construction of the Wall.

The Occupying Powers Liability as a Result of the


Construction of the Wall
The Occupying Powers violation of the rules and principles of international law evoke
international liability of the occupying power for these breaches. According to rules of
international law, this liability is double-faceted: it is both a civil and criminal liability[310]

A. Civil liability of the occupying power


Israels violations of its international legal obligations have led to extensive damage to Palestinian
residents affected by the construction of the Wall. According to the provisions of international
humanitarian and human rights law, Israel is under obligation to return the property and land it
has confiscated and/or to provide compensation to all individuals it has affected. These obligations
should be discharged and implemented to mitigate the impact caused by these violations on the
people affected[311]
With regards to the damages suffered by Palestinians as a result of Israels construction of the Wall,
Israel is required to implement the following steps:

[309]

1.

Cease all construction of the Wall and implement the total cessation of the destructive and
damaging measures against Palestinian private and public property and land.

2.

Return all public and private property including olive groves, orchards, agricultural
land and other immovable property to any person for the purpose of the Wall and its
construction. Dismantling of those sections of the Wall that fall within the occupied West
Bank, including East Jerusalem. In addition, all measures taken towards the construction
of the Wall must be repealed or rendered ineffective (except for those acts which would
provide compensation or other reparation to Palestinians affected by the Wall).

Supra note 14, para 153.

[310]

Please refer to Dr. Mohammad Baha Adeen Bashan. Reciprocal Treatment in International Criminal Law, General
commission for the Emirate Printing affairs, Cairo, 1974, p 179, and Maryer Green, International law, McDonald and Evans,
London, 1982, p 219.

[311]

On types of compensation, please refer to the following: Dr. Salah Abed Al Badee Shalabi, The right to Rebate, 1st ed.
Cairo (1983), p 209.

148

3.

Compensation where returning land or property is impossible due to for example


destruction or damage to land or property, including destruction or exploitation
of natural resources. Compensation must include all direct and indirect damage
inflicted on the residents of the occupied Palestinian territories and their public and
private properties.

Israels implementation of the above requirements will mitigate the damage cause by its
construction of the Wall only, and cannot in any way exempt Israel from its international liabilities
resulting from other or previous actions and measures that violate the rights of Palestinians in
the occupied territories.

B. Criminal liabilities
Although the State itself cannot be held criminally liable, there are certain groups or individuals
who can, under international humanitarian law, be held accountable for the grave breaches
of international law associated with the construction of the Wall. Specifically, those who
ordered and designed the plans for the construction of the Wall and those who implemented
its construction must, under international law, be held accountable for their actions. This is
specifically articulated in article 146[312]of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which obligates High
Contracting Parties to undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal
sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the
present Convention. The grave breaches set out in the Geneva Conventions are considered war
crimes, which incur individual criminal liability. Under Article 146 of the Fourth Convention,
the state is obligated to search for the persons alleged to have committed or ordered to have
committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality,
before its own courts.
The same right has also been affirmed and safeguarded in article 6 of the Nuremburg charter: The
crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law: Crimes against peace:
1.

Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of


international treaties, agreements or assurances;

2.

Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts
mentioned under (i).

Palestinians are therefore entitled to pursue the people who ordered the perpetration of the crime
whether military personnel or politicians and state members in accordance with the provisions of
the military occupation and the principles of armed conflicts. Even more so, this right also includes
all people who participated in the implementation of the war crime in the oPt. It should be

[312]

The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons
committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered
to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may
also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High
Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case. Each High Contracting
Party shall take measures necessary for the suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present Convention other
than the grave breaches defined in the following Article. In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by safeguards
of proper trial and defense, which shall not be less favourable than those provided by Article 105 and those following of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949

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149

mentioned here that the principle of non-retroactivity[313] and negative impact to the international
community require the elimination of any action that would allow impunity for war criminals.
Moreover, the invalidity of non-retroactivity on international crimes is one of the most important
safeguards that ensures the oppressed and humiliated people the infliction of punishment, when
circumstances allow, on the people who have committed war crimes against them.
Despite the fact that the Charter of the International Criminal Court (ICC), ratified in Rome on
17 July 1998, stressed that international crimes are not subject to limitations, the same Charter
has immunized war criminals and perpetrators of international crimes against punishment because
they cannot be held accountable for crimes they had committed before the ICC charter became
effective. Article 24 stipulates that No person shall be criminally responsible under this Statute
for conduct prior to the entry into force of the Statute.
This article, as it is understood, limits the criminal liability of scores ,even hundreds ,of individuals
who have committed acts and practices which under the international law are viewed as war crimes
when it entered into force. While this is unfortunate, the Charter will hopefully allow oppressed
people to hold perpetrators accountable and to legally pursue any individual who commits a war
crime against them in the future.

The legal effects emanating from Israels international liability


Responsibility of Member States in Confronting Israels Violations of the Provisions of
International Law
The absence of an effective international executive apparatus has impacted countries ability to set up
tools and instruments that could have helped them to organize and consolidate peaceful international
relations based on peace and security and mutual respect of commitments and the rights of the state
members. As well, banning the use of force and ensuring legal equity among countries.
In light of the developments witnessed by the rules and principles of the provisions of the international
law in the wake of the declaration of the UN Charter towards cordial relations among countries,
there emerged an unshaken idea in the obligation of respecting international rules and principles.
Whats more, this international interest also urges member states to look for creating tools and
instruments that guarantee their safety, encourage respect and safeguard sovereignty.
These countries have taken upon themselves the burden of strengthening the law and protecting its
sovereignty as an international interest. They have a duty to intervene in the event of undermining
this law but, naturally, the commitment of these countries differed in degree and nature depending

[313]

Article 88.-Mutual assistance in criminal matters:

1. The High Contracting Parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal
proceedings brought in respect of grave breaches of the Conventions or of this Protocol.
2. Subject to the rights and obligations established in the Conventions and in Article 85, paragraph 1, of this Protocol, and
when circumstances permit, the High Contracting Parties shall co-operate in the matter of extradition. They shall give due
consideration to the request of the State in whose territory the alleged offence has occurred.
3. The law of the High Contracting Party requested shall apply in all cases. The provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall not,
however, affect the obligations arising from the provisions of any other treaty of a bilateral or multilateral nature which governs
or will govern the whole or part of the subject of mutual assistance in criminal matters.

150

on the variety of the legal principle for which these commitments were placed for respect and
commitment of the member states.
These commitments can be divided into two patterns: the first can be described as negative
commitment which results in the refrain of these countries to recognize the actualities established
by the occupying power, Israel, in the oPt, as a result of the construction of the wall and the
commitment to cease and refrain from providing any assistance or support that can help the
occupying power to sustain the violation of the principles and rules of the law.
The second pattern is the positive commitment which goes beyond protest against the behavior
of the country that acts in contravention of the international law into some kind of a positive and
serious intervention to confront and bring to an end these violations of the rules and principles
of international law.
Since this paper treats some of the above mentioned actions as war crimes and international crimes,
we think we will clarify these patterns of commitments that emanate from Israels violations of
international humanitarian law and due top Israels construction of the wall inside the oPt.

Responsibilities of UN Member States in confronting Israels


violations of international law with regards to the Wall
Since its creation, the United Nations through its values of peace, democracy and respect for
human rights has worked towards establishing and maintaining international peace. This has in
part been implemented through the creation and recognition of international legal frameworks
including international humanitarian, human rights and criminal law. Part of this framework
urges member States to create and implement tools and instruments that guarantee their safety,
encourage respect and safeguard sovereignty. Another part of this framework gives member
States the duty to intervene in the event of serious or repeated violations of international law that
impact on the international community as a whole. An example of such is the United Nations
Security Council, who routinely examines and passes resolutions on matters of import to the
international community, such as the question of Palestine and the violations of the rights of
Palestinian people.
These commitments of UN Member States can be divided into two categories: negative and
positive. In the case of Israels construction of the Wall, negative commitments are for example
the duty of States not to recognize the actualities established by the occupying power, Israel, in
the oPt, as a result of the Wall and the duty to cease and refrain from providing any assistance
or support that would help the occupying power to sustain its violations of the principles and
rules of the law.
Positive commitments go beyond protesting against the behavior of the country contravening
international law and consist of taking positive and serious measures to intervene and bring to an
end the violations of international law.

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151

A- Negative commitments of countries in regards to Israels


violations of the rules and principles of International
Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
The negative commitment of member states to Israels violation of International Humanitarian
Law is embodied in the refrain of these countries to recognize the actualities established by the
occupying power, Israel, in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of the construction of the
Wall. Member States commitment to cease and refrain from providing any assistance or support
that can help the occupying power to sustain the violation of the principles and rules of the law is
also an example of negative commitment.

B-Positive commitments of countries in regards to Israels


violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
The rules and principles of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law oblige State
Members positive intervention in confronting Israels violations of these rules. These obligations
can be specified as follows:

Intervention to bring an end to violations:


Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that the High Contracting Parties undertake
to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances. Article 146 states
that Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for the suppression of all acts
contrary to the provisions of the present Convention other than the grave breaches (defined in
Article 147 as outlined previously).
Although the Convention does not mention specific means that should be followed by the
Contracting Parties to impose respect of the Convention, by other Contracting Parties, it specifies
certain measures that should be taken against individuals who have been proved to have committed
grave violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Article 146 gives Contract Parties the choice
to either try the persons in their national courts or to extradite them to the party that issued the
order of arrest to bring to their own national justice system.
Emphasis must be placed on the obligation of State Parties to investigate, prosecute and punish
those persons responsible for war crimes (ie grave breaches of the applicable Geneva Conventions).
This obligation stands regardless of the demands made by others for this accountability.
The countries party to the Fourth Geneva Convention are thus bound to enact any legislation
necessary to provide effective penal sanction to any individuals proven to have committed (or
ordered to be committed) grave breaches of the Fourth Convention, which includes any individuals
or groups responsible for the mass destruction or appropriation of property within occupied lands.
In the case of the Wall, these would include contractors, construction workers and those authorities
who authorized the construction of the Wall (and therefore, the destruction of property within
the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem). In its Advisory Opinion on the Wall, the ICJ
held that all of the states party to the Fourth Geneva Convention are under an obligation, while

152

respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with
international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention. This poses a heavy burden on
the Palestinian side to demand the signatories of the Geneva Convention and the carry out their
obligations in this regard.

Appeals to support and assist the Palestinian people to confront these violations:
In light of the obligations of states parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the duties of the
UN member states in upholding the UN Charter, a number of agreements and declarations issued
by the UN have urged member states to support and provide assistance to the Palestinian people
in their struggle to claim their rights under international law.
One of the most important resolutions made in this regard is General Assembly Resolution 3236
issued on 22 Nov 1974, which Appeals to all States and international organizations to extend
their support to the Palestinian people in its struggle to restore its rights, in accordance with
the Charter and General Assembly Resolution 35/35 issued on 14 November 1980, which
urges all States, specialized agencies, competent organizations of the United Nations system and
other international organizations to extend their support to the Palestinian people through its
representative, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, in its struggle to restore its right to selfdetermination and independence in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Obligations of the UN in confronting Israeli violations


Israels violations of international human rights and humanitarian law require a response from
the UN system, and in particular, require the General Assembly and the Security Council to
fulfill their obligations and uphold the UN Charter[314] and intervene to ensure the respect of
international law and confront the violations taking place throughout the oPt. These agencies
have a legal obligation through their mandate to intervene against a country that violates its legal
obligations and commits illegitimate actions that are expressly prohibited under the provisions of
international law.

The Security Council


The UN Charter has accorded the Security Council the mandate of preserving international peace
and security. As a result, the UN charter in chapter 6 and 7 has listed a number of measures that
allows the SC to undertake in order to achieve peace and security worldwide.

[314]

UN Charter, Chapter I, Article 1 states the purposes of the United Nations as:

To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and
removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring
about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of
international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,
and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian
character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction
as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
Available at http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter1.htm.

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153

The intervention of the Security Council can be conducted in two manners in the event of
grave breaches to international law. The first is mediation and negotiations through diplomatic
means and public clarification of the partys obligations under international law and the rights
of all persons affected, as well as stating the UN Security Councils position on these breaches
of international law, and courses of action to confront the party that has perpetrated activities
deemed globally illegitimate. These courses of action range between economic sanctions and
interruption of transport between the breaching party and the members states[315]. The Security
Council is also entitled to use aerial, land and marine forces to impose the embargo in these cases
in order to bring the measures to success.[316] The second option provides for the use of force. In
practice, the Security Council, seeking to preserve international peace and security and confront
the breaching party, has resorted to the use of force on several occasions including in the 1950
Korean conflict, the Congo in 1960, and Iraq in 1990. With regards to non-military measures, the
Security Council has issued a number of resolutions in this regard the most important of which is
the South African example and the boycott of southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1966 and South
Africa in 1977 and the air embargo on Libya and Sudan[317] and the embargo imposed on Iraq and
the ban of the sale of weapons to Yugoslavia. In 1993, the Security Council issued Resolutions
808 and 827 to form an the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to try
war criminals for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1994, the Security Council
issues Resolution 995, forming the International Criminal Court for Rwanda (ICTR) to try war
criminals of the Rwandan conflict[318]
The Security Council must continue to fulfill its obligations and confront Israel with regards
to its repeated violations of international law, including grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva
Convention. As has been demonstrated, the construction of the Wall represents several violations
of international law, including Israels obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. In this
regard, we wish to outline the measures that can be taken against Israel by the Security Council
under the provisions of chapter VI and VII:
1.

Issue unequivocal and absolute resolutions demanding Israel to bring the construction of
the Wall to an end, to dismantle those sections already constructed and to restore the lands
and properties as they were to the rightful owners (or provide adequate compensate in the
impossibility of restoring land and property as it was due to destruction resulting from the
construction of the Wall).

[315]

This is stipulated in articles 41 and 42 of the Charter. Article 1 stipulates that The Security Council may decide what
measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the
Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic
relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic
relations.

[316]

Article 42 stipulates that Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be
inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain
or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea,
or land forces of Members of the United Nations. Please also refer to Bokradres, The Principle on Non Intervention in Light of
Modern International law , The National Book Establishment, Algeria, 1990, p 292 298.

[317]

The measures taken against Libya and Sudan raise reservations and questions on the legitimacy and safety of the UN
Security Council resolutions. Giving these examples does not mean that we take the correctness of these resolutions for granted.
As for Resolution 748 related to Libya for its involvement in the Lockerbie plane crash that killed 270 passengers, it should
be said that the validity of the resolution extradited upon a deal between the international community and Libya in which the
latter extradited the two suspects to be tried in Scottish courts.

[318]

On international criminal courts in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, please refer to the special report on international criminal
courts in ICRC magazine, issue 58 of Nov/ Dec, 1997.

154

2.

Use non-military measures against Israel in the event of its refusal to comply with
the UN Security Council resolutions and call all UN State Members to cease their
economic dealings with Israel to bring it to compliance with international law, the UN
Charter and the many resolutions issued by UN bodies relating to Israels violations of
international law.

3.

Use force if the previous measures fail in order to achieve the results and the objectives
that were set. It is known that the Security Council has refrained from using measures
under Chapter VII due to US Veto power, which has often been used to thwart any
attempt to propose such a resolution against Israel. The Security Council has to date failed
to issue a binding resolution in this regard that would effectively confront the violations
of the Israeli occupation against the population of the Palestinian territories. The success
of the US attempts in blocking resolutions against Israel represents a genuine obstacle
in the Security Councils mission to maintain international peace and security, as well as
the double standard and lack of neutrality in treating international issues and crises that
require the intervention of the council[319].

The General Assembly


Israels continuous violations of international law also invoke the question of the General
Assemblys requirements to bring these practices to end in accordance with the provisions of the
UN Charter. The General Assembly initially brings attention to the breaches of international
law while the Security Council undertakes to call for and implement measures in response
to these breaches[320], however with regards to Israels breaches, the US veto power has thus
far impeded the undertaking of these practices. As a result, the General Assembly has issued
many resolutions condemning Israels continuous violations of international human rights and
humanitarian law. In addition to these (non-binding) resolutions, the General Assembly is
able to take the necessary measures to prevent further violations including the use of force
to bring Israel to compliance and respect of its legal obligations (laid out under international
humanitarian and human rights law and reaffirmed through the Advisory Opinion of the
International Court of Justice) . The intervention of the General Assembly in this case draws
legitimacy from the General Assembly Resolution 377 issued November 1950 (also known
as Unite for Peace), which permits the General Assembly to examine issues and matters and
international conflicts that threaten peace and security and recommend Member States to take
the necessary collective measures including the use of armed force when necessary, in cases where
the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise

[319]

Namibia is a striking similarity as an issue with the question of Palestine in terms of legal status. The Security Councils
treatment of Namibia helps illustrate the lack of neutrality and use of double standards with regards to the question of Palestine.
Namibia was under the mandate of South Africa but the Security Council has issued several binding resolutions on Namibia.
Of these resolutions are resolutions # 245, 246, 248 of 1969, 276 of 1970, 301 of 1971 and 385 of 1976 which placed legal
liability of the UN on Namibia and called on South Africa to publicly declare its commitments, the release of all prisoners,
and the return of the displaced to their residences and the granting of independence to Namibia without any conditions. The
strong position adopted by the Security Council against South Africa finally led to Namibias independence in February 1990
after over 105 years of suffering and denial of the right to self-determination.

[320]

On ways on UN Security Council intervention with regards to the Palestinian question, please refer to Sami Hadawi,
Ed., UN resolutions on Palestine, the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut 1967, p127 170. On the UN Security Council s
intervention in the wake of Israels war in 1967, please refer to Dr. Hasan Al Halabi, The decision and the settlement a legal and
political study of settling the Arab / Israeli conflict under the resolution 242 Beirut 1978, P 22. Also refer to Mahmoud Riyad,
Searching for peace and the ME conflict, 1948 - 1978, Dar Al Mustaqbal al Arabi, Cairo, 2nd ed, p 142.

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Annexation Wall and International Law

155

its primary for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there
appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression[321]
In light of the above, the General Assembly is able to maintain international peace and security and
thus exercise its responsibilities under the UN Charter even when the Security Council is failing in
its related responsibilities. The Unite for Peace Resolution effectively allows the General Assembly
to recommend to State Members to take collective action and intervene in order to stop threats or
breaches of peace. As Israels construction of the Wall has as its effect the large scale destruction of
property within the land it is occupying, which constitutes a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva
Conventions; the General Assembly could legitimately take action under its Resolution 377.
In addition to this Resolution, the General Assembly is also required to consider and address
Israels breaches and violations in line with the UN Charter, to which Israel has the duty to
respect and adhere to as a member state of the United Nations. It is commonly held that Israels
membership to the UN is conditional on its respect of the requirements of the General Assembly,
namely General Assembly Resolution 194 (addressing full access to Jerusalem and the right of
return of refugees)[322].
The General Assembly is required to call on Israel and urge it officially to comply with its duties
towards the United Nations Charter and international human rights and humanitarian law. In
the event of Israels refusal to do so, the General Assembly should consider dismissing Israel
from the UN for refusal to respect the values and provisions of the UN Charter, in addition to
its repeated failure to respect or implement the numerous General Assembly Resolutions issued
with regards to Israel.
Intervention of the General Assembly can be conducted as follows:
1.

Require Israel to comply with its commitments as a UN member state, with particular
regard to the General Assembly resolutions regarding Israel

2.

Require Israel to respect the UN Charter and the provisions of international humanitarian
and human rights law by dismantling the Wall, immediately cease all construction works,
and restore land and property as it was to its rightful owners. In the event of Israels further
refusal to comply with the General Assemblys resolutions, the General Assembly can
undertake other appropriate measures to bring Israel to compliance and have it retreat
from sustaining its practices, as outlined in the 1950 Unite For Peace Resolution.

3.

In the event of failure of the General Assemblys measures the General Assembly should
ask the UN Security Council to undertake military measures to confront Israel. If the UN
Security Council fails to ensure international peace in this regard, the General Assembly
can recommend the collective action of Member States, including the use of armed force
in accordance with the United for Peace Resolution.

[321]

For the full text of General Assembly Resolution 377, visit http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/561c6ee353d740fb85
25607d00581829/55c2b84da9e0052b05256554005726c6!OpenDocument

[322]

Israel is the only country whose membership in the UN has been conditional to its commitment to previous agreements
and conventions. For more information, please refer to: 1) G- Jans, Israel and the US: a conditional membership, Palestinian
Affairs, issue 49, 1975, p 19. 2) William and Sally Melson. Analysis of UN resolutions on the Palestinian question from an
international law perspective. United Nations Publications, New York 1979, p 29.

156

Conclusion
Israels construction of the Wall has been shown to contravene international human rights and
humanitarian law, has caused large scale damage to Palestinian lands and livelihoods, and has
contributed to the denial of Palestinians basic right to self-determination. This study has aimed
to outline the main legal implications of Israels construction of the Wall, including the specific
violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, as well as the legal obligations of
all parties resulting from the construction of the Wall and Israels breaches of international law.
The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice has helped to clarify the duties of
Israel as an occupying power towards the Palestinian people, with specific focus on the Wall and
its effects on the Palestinians, as well as the obligations of Member States of the United Nations
and the body of the United Nations itself that have arisen as a result of Israels violations of
international law.
The study has also examined the principal instrument of international humanitarian law relating
to occupation, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and has outlined the obligations of all
High Contracting Parties (including Israel) to ensure the full respect and implementation of
the Convention.
The study will conclude by listing a number of options available to the Palestinian people in light
of the obligations of the international community and the illegitimacy of Israels construction of
the Wall within the occupied territories:
1.

Demand the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to assume
their responsibilities related to the pursuit and accountability of all people involved in
the commission of grave breaches of the Convention. In this regard, the Civic Coalition
recommends the launch of a Palestinian campaign urging the High Contracting Parties to
hold an international conference to explore the legal obligations.

2.

The official Palestinian UN representatives must also make a move to demand the UN
Security Council to intervene in accordance with its primary responsibility of ensuring
international peace and security, and confront Israels violations of international law and
refusal to adhere to General Assembly Resolutions or the ICJ Advisory Opinion.

3.

Palestinian representatives must also be prepared for further steps in the event of slackness
by the UN Security Council and lobby for more pressure in the General Assembly and
ask it to intervene to remove the Wall in accordance with the powers vested in the General
Assembly pursuant to Resolution 337.

4.

Formation of a team of Palestinian legal experts to explore the possibility of filing a


complaint against the leaders of the Israeli occupation and other Israeli officials involved
in the construction of the Wall, to be submitted to justice systems of interested or
concerned UN member states. It is worthwhile mentioning here that a number of
countries provide a jurisdiction for criminal liability for war crimes (Belgium, France,
Britain, Spain and others).

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Annexation Wall and International Law

5.

157

Formation of a governmental and non-governmental committee under the supervision


of the Ministry of settlement activity affairs and the Wall to explore the possibility of
pushing international human rights organizations and other bodies in solidarity with the
Palestinian people to exert pressure on their own countries to demand them to respect
their obligations emanating from the Fourth Geneva Convention. The committee could
additionally urge the human rights organizations to file cases before their own national
courts in accordance with article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Nnote:
Archive of Maps Department, Arab Studies Society- the Official Gazette.