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Is Israel finally creating irreversable facts in the Arab part of Jerusalem?

December 23, 2011

Haaretz has an article simultaneously repoorting, speculating and criticising an emerging Israeli policy regarding Jerusalem. Predictaby, Haaretz leaves out some essential parts of the story, but the speculation itself is plausible – and hopefully, also correct.

The report tells that Israel seems to be taking steps towards severing Kfar Akeb and Shuafat from East Jerusalem. Kfar Akeb is the neighborhood between Ramallah and Jerusalem which has been beyond the security fence since about 2005; effectively it is more part of Ramallah than of Jerusalem. Shuafat is further south, on the north-east edge of town; it has been outside the fence since about 2007 or 2008. While closer to the center of Jerusalem than to the center of Ramallah, it is only about a 10 minute drive to Ramallah.

Mayor Nir Barkat has been open about his wish to have the fence be the municipal line. Haaretz says the government, which paves roads and infrastructures beyond the line, seems to agree. Facts on the ground indicate there are preparations underway to enable a division, i.e an international border, along the line of the fence. Beyond severing those two Palestinians neighborhoods from Israel (which, you would think, the world ought to support but of course won’t), there may also be plans to connect Maale Adumim to Jerusalem by building in the empty E1 area which lies between them. This, however, first requires the construction of good roads that could connect Ramallah to Bethlehem, thus countering the claim that connecting Maale Adumim would necessarily sever the West Bank in two.

What’s the single most glaring ommission in the report? That would be that Israel is finally investing large sums of money in the parts of Arab Jerusalem which are to remain inside the line. In other words, Israel is trying to create a situation in East Jerusalem akin to the Galilee and other parts of Israel with large Arab concentrations, in which the locals enjoy full Israeli citizenship and wouldn’t dream of wanting to live in Palestine. There are numerous indications this policy is working, creating a situation where the Palestinians of Jerusalem regard themselves as full Israelis. I’ve written about this elsewhere.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 26, 2011 12:15 am

    Very interesting. Thanks, as always, for the information you provide in your posts.

    Chag sameach.

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