Understanding East Jerusalem

Predominantly Arab, East Jerusalem is subject to intense dispute. The land was held by Jordan as part of the 1949 Armistice Agreements that followed the Arab-Israeli War. The Green Line (demarcation line 1948–67) between the Israeli- and Jordanian-overseen sections of the city ran along Chel Handasa St (now part of the JLR route). After the Six-Day War in 1967, East Jerusalem came under Israeli control, and most of the international community considers it territory occupied by Israel.

To Palestinians, the truth is simple: East Jerusalem is occupied and oppressed by Israel, Palestinians are being evicted from their homeland, and they risk total cultural erasure. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have their own Israel-issued IDs and many of the benefits of Israelis but are not full citizens and cannot vote in national elections.

But to the state of Israel, the idea of a return to the partitioned days of the 1950s is unthinkable, and control of East Jerusalem was hard won in the Six-Day War. This conviction has led the Israeli government to march forward with its plans to expand Israeli settlements into East Jerusalem as well as continue major building projects there (one noticeable example being the expansion of the City of David site). This has met condemnation from the Palestinian people and their sympathisers worldwide, including some Jewish Jerusalemites.