East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem is a term used to signify the part of Jerusalem that came under Israeli occupation after the 1967 war, as opposed to the part of Jerusalem that has been under Israeli control since the 1948 war, which is often referred to as "West Jerusalem." The Green Line separates East and West Jerusalem. The terms "East" and "West" Jerusalem can be problematic both geographically and politically. They are geographically confusing as some of the Jerusalem neighborhoods that are considered East Jerusalem, such as Shu’afat and Beit Hanina, are actually in the northern part of the city; whereas others, such as Beit Safafa, are in the south of Jerusalem. The term can also be problematic politically, as “East” Jerusalem is in the minds of many synonymous with Palestinian/[no-lexicon] [no-lexicon]Jerusalem and “West” Jerusalem with Israeli or Jewish Jerusalem, whereas in reality there are many neighborhoods in “West” Jerusalem that had been Palestinian neighborhoods or villages before the Nakba, which Palestinians still profess the right to return to. However, referring to the city as Jerusalem, without specifying which side of the Green Line, could be taken to support Israel’s claim that Jerusalem will be its eternal, undivided capital. Most of the residents of the city refer to their city simply as “Jerusalem.” In this glossary as well as in other materials, Just Vision uses the term “East Jerusalem” in order to specify the areas of Jerusalem occupied and annexed after the 1967 war, and in order to highlight the situation facing Palestinian residents of those areas. Jerusalem Palestinians have a status that is different from Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza and Palestinian citizens of Israel. They pay Jerusalem municipal taxes, receive municipal services and Israeli health insurance, and carry a blue (Israeli) ID (as opposed to Palestinians in the rest of the West Bank who carry a green ID card) but they are not Israeli citizens. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are able to travel freely throughout the West Bank and Israel, which is prohibited to Palestinians living in other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. There has been much documentation about systemic discrimination faced by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, who comprise 37% of the city’s population yet receive only 10% of the municipal budget. Numerous restrictions are placed on Palestinian Jerusalemites that do not apply to Israeli citizens or Jewish permanent residents, include losing residency status if living abroad (or in the West Bank) for longer than seven years, or if unable to prove that the center of their life is in Jerusalem. Between 1967 and 2009, the Israeli government revoked Jerusalem residency from 13,115 Palestinians. Jewish Israeli communities have been built throughout East Jerusalem since 1967. According to international law, these communities are settlements. In recent years, religious Jewish Israeli settlers have been taking over Palestinian homes in several areas of East Jerusalem (such as Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan), displacing the residents. This encroachment has typically been backed by the Israeli military/police forces and court system. For more information about discrimination in Jerusalem, including the denial of building permits and home demolitions, see "Jerusalem by the numbers: Poverty, segregation and discrimination," Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972Mag, May 28, 2014, and "East Jerusalem," B’tselem. For more about the takeover of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the protest movement that developed in response, see Just Vision’s short film, "My Neighborhood."

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