Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (Arabic: القدس الشرقية; Hebrew: מזרח ירושלים) is the sector of Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan in 1948 and had remained out of the Israeli-held West Jerusalem at the end of the 1948–49 Arab–Israeli War. It includes Jerusalem’s Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as a number of adjacent neighbourhoods. Israeli and Palestinian definitions of it differ; the Palestinian official position is based on the 1949 Armistice Agreements, while the Israeli position is mainly based on the current municipality boundaries of Jerusalem, which resulted from a series of administrative enlargements decided by Israeli municipal authorities since the June 1967 Six-Day War. Despite its name, East Jerusalem includes neighborhoods to the north, east and south of the Old City, and in the wider definition of the term even on all these sides of West Jerusalem.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was contested between Jordan and Israel, and on the cessation of hostilities, the two countries secretly negotiated a division of the city, with the eastern sector coming under Jordanian rule. This arrangement was formalized in the Rhodes Agreement in March 1949. A week after David Ben-Gurion presented his party’s assertion that “Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel” in December 1949, Jordan annexed East Jerusalem. These decisions were confirmed respectively in the Knesset in January 1950 and the Jordanian Parliament in April 1950.
On being occupied by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem, with expanded borders, came under direct Israeli rule. East Jerusalem had been occupied by Israel in June 1967. On 27–28 June 1967, East Jerusalem was integrated into Jerusalem by extension of its municipal borders and was placed under the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State of Israel. In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures trying to change the status of the city invalid. Jerusalem was effectively annexed by Israel in 1980, an act internationally condemned.[by whom?]
In the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988, Jerusalem is stated to be the capital of the State of Palestine. In 2000, the Palestinian Authority passed a law proclaiming Jerusalem as such, and in 2002, this law was ratified by then chairman Yasser Arafat, although Israel does not allow Palestinian government offices in East Jerusalem. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recognised East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine on 13 December 2017.
See also: History of Jerusalem and Timeline of Jerusalem
1948 Arab–Israeli War aftermath
Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided into two parts. The western portion, populated primarily by Jews, came under Israeli rule, while the eastern portion, populated mainly by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, came under Jordanian rule. Arabs living in such western Jerusalem neighbourhoods as Katamon or Malha either fled or were in some cases forced out; the same fate befell Jews in the eastern areas, including the Old City and Silwan. The only eastern area of the city that remained in Israeli hands throughout the 19 years of Jordanian rule was Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University is located, which formed an enclave during that period.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the eastern part of Jerusalem came under Israeli rule, along with the entire West Bank. Shortly after the Israeli takeover, East Jerusalem was annexed to West Jerusalem, together with several neighboring West Bank villages. In November 1967, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed, calling for Israel to withdraw “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” in exchange for peace treaties. In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, which is commonly called an act of annexation, though no such formal measure was even taken. This declaration was determined to be “null and void” by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.
See also: Jordanian annexation of the West Bank
King Hussein flying over the Temple Mount while it was under Jordanian control, 1965
Jerusalem was to be an international city under the 1947 UN Partition Plan. It was not included as a part of either the proposed Jewish or Arab states. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the western part of Jerusalem was captured by Israel, while East Jerusalem (including the Old City) was captured by Jordan. The war came to an end with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements.
Upon its capture, the Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter. 58 synagogues were destroyed. The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones there were used for construction and paving roads. Jordan also destroyed the Jewish villages of Atarot and Neve Yaakov just north of Jerusalem (their sites became Jerusalem neighborhoods after 1967).
East Jerusalem absorbed some of the refugees from West Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods that came under Israeli rule. Thousands of Arab refugees who were displaced from their homes in Israeli-held West Jerusalem were settled in the previously Jewish areas of East Jerusalem.
In 1950 East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank, was annexed by Jordan. Nevertheless, the annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by the United Kingdom, although the Israeli and Jordanian annexations of the two parts of Jerusalem were given only de facto recognition. During the period of Jordanian rule, East Jerusalem lost much of its importance, as it was no longer a capital, and losing its link to the coast diminished its role as a commercial hub. It even saw a population decrease, with merchants and administrators moving to Amman. On the other hand, it maintained its religious importance, as well as its role as a regional center. Reaffirming a 1953 statement, Jordan in 1960 declared Jerusalem its second capital. The USA (and other powers) protested this plan, and stated it could not “recognize or associate itself in any way with actions which confer upon Jerusalem the attributes of a seat of government…”
During the 1960s, Jerusalem saw economic improvement and its tourism industry developed significantly, and its holy sites attracted growing numbers of pilgrims, but Israelis of all religions were not allowed into East Jerusalem.[clarification needed]
After 1967 war
During the Six-Day War of 1967 Israel captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and eventually incorporated Eastern Jerusalem and its surroundings into the municipality of Jerusalem, including several neighboring villages. This move, amounting to 111 km2 (43 sq mi)[dubious ] of West Bank territory, excluded many of East Jerusalem’s suburbs and divided several villages. The old Moroccan Quarter in front of the Western Wall was bulldozed three days after its capture, leading to the deaths of several residents in the forced resettlement of its 135 families. It was replaced with a large open air plaza. The Jewish Quarter, destroyed in 1948, was depopulated, rebuilt and resettled by Jews.
After 1980 annexation
Israeli West Bank barrier in Jerusalem
Under Israeli rule, members of all religions are largely granted access to their holy sites, with the Muslim Waqf maintaining control of the Temple Mount and the Muslim holy sites there.
With the stated purpose of preventing infiltration during the Second Intifada, Israel decided to surround Jerusalem’s eastern perimeter with a security barrier. The structure has separated East Jerusalem neighborhoods from the West Bank suburbs, all of which are under the jurisdiction of Israel and the IDF. The planned route of the separation barrier has raised much criticism, with the Israeli Supreme Court ruling that certain sections of the barrier (including East Jerusalem sections) must be re-routed.
The Oslo Accords, prohibit the establishment of any activity of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem. Under the pretext that they are part of the PA, Israel closed many Palestinian NGOs since 2001.
In the 25 January 2006 Palestinian Legislative Elections, 6,300 East Jerusalem Arabs were registered and permitted to vote locally. All other residents had to travel to West Bank polling stations. Hamas won four seats and Fatah two, even though Hamas was barred by Israel from campaigning in the city. Fewer than 6,000 residents were permitted to vote locally in the prior 1996 elections.
In March 2009, a confidential “EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem” was published, in which the Israeli government was accused of “actively pursuing the illegal annexation” of East Jerusalem. The report stated: “Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ – including new settlements, construction of the barrier, discriminatory housing policies, house demolitions, restrictive permit regime and continued closure of Palestinian institutions – increase Jewish Israeli presence in East Jerusalem, weaken the Palestinian community in the city, impede Palestinian urban development and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.”
A poll conducted by Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and American Pechter Middle East Polls for the Council on Foreign Relations, among East Jerusalem Arab residents in 2011 revealed that 39% of East Jerusalem Arab residents would prefer Israeli citizenship contrary to 31% who opted for Palestinian citizenship. According to the poll, 40% of Palestinian residents would prefer to leave their neighborhoods if they would be placed under Palestinian rule.