East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (Arabic: القدس الشرقية, al-Quds ash-Sharqiya; Hebrew: מִזְרַח יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, Mizraḥ Yerushalayim) is the sector of Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel.[lower-alpha 1] Since the 1967 Arab–Israeli War, East Jerusalem has been considered to be occupied by Israel by the international community.

2018 United Nations OCHA map of the area, showing Israeli occupation arrangements
East Jerusalem zoning
Map of East Jerusalem. The Arab areas are coloured green, while the Jewish areas are blue.

This area includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the al-Aqsa Mosque, the 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.[lower-alpha 2] The Palestinian official position is based on the 1949 Armistice Agreements, while the Israeli position is based mainly on the current municipality boundaries of Jerusalem. These were determined by 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. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to be illegal under international law. Israel disputes this interpretation.

During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jerusalem was contested between Jordan and Israel. At 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.[3][lower-alpha 3]

David Ben-Gurion presented his party's assertion that "Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel" in December 1949,[5] and Jordan annexed East Jerusalem the following year.[6][7] These decisions were confirmed respectively in the Israeli Knesset in January 1950 and the Jordanian Parliament in April 1950.[8] When occupied by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem, with expanded borders, came under direct Israeli rule, an effective de facto annexation, although according to Ian Lustick, never formally annexed.[lower-alpha 4] In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the United Nations declared the measures changing the status of the city to be invalid.[11]

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 its capital, and in October 2002, this law was approved by chairman Yasser Arafat.[12] Since that time Israel has shut down all offices and NGO organisations connected to the PLO in East Jerusalem, saying that the Oslo Accords do not permit the Palestinian National Authority to operate in Jerusalem.[lower-alpha 5] The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recognised East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine on 13 December 2017.[14]

The annual number of building permits granted for construction in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem have expanded by 60% since Donald Trump became US president in 2017. Since 1991, Palestinians, who make up the majority of the residents in East Jerusalem, have only received 30% of building permits.[15]