Forget what you know
about Jerusalem

Forget what you know about Jerusalem

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To: Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the European Commission,
Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
and the President of the United Nations Security Council

We, the undersigned, call on the European Union, United Nations Secretariat, and members of the UN Security Council to take urgent action that ends and holds Israeli authorities accountable for systemic and deliberate discrimination toward Palestinians in Jerusalem.

By ratifying international human rights treaties, Israel has obligated itself to uphold universal non-discrimination guarantees and protections. However, discriminatory Israeli laws and policies deliberately targeting Palestinians in Jerusalem work to forcibly transfer Palestinians out of the city. The Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has emboldened the Israeli government to further erode Palestinian rights.

We urge the European Union, UN Secretary-General, and President of the UN Security Council to uphold international law and take steps to end Israel’s discriminatory laws and practices toward Jerusalem's Palestinian residents. EU and UN member states must avoid taking actions that imply recognition of Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem.


 

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Palestinians in Jerusalem have lived under prolonged occupation, in unequal and discriminatory conditions, since Israel’s unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

For 51 years, intersecting discriminatory laws, policies, budgets and practices have impacted every aspect of their daily lives.

Palestinians in Jerusalem live with tenuous “permanent resident status,” under the constant risk of forcible transfer. Between 1967 and the end of 2016, Israel revoked the residency status of 14,595 Palestinians from East Jerusalem.¹

Discriminatory city planning has confiscated 35 percent of East Jerusalem for illegal Israeli settlements and designated only 13 percent of East Jerusalem for Palestinian residential use.²

Moreover, Israeli laws allow for the demolition of Palestinian structures and make Palestinians vulnerable to eviction and violent settler takeovers. Between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2018, 934 Palestinian structures, including 281 inhabited residential structures, have been demolished, confiscated, sealed off, or evicted by Israeli authorities, displacing 1,855 Palestinians including 975 children.³

Israel also denies and underfunds infrastructure and municipal services to Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem, creating shortages in basic services and inadequate educational opportunities.

When it comes to children in conflict with Israeli law, implementation norms and sentencing guidelines in East Jerusalem disproportionately target Palestinian children for incarceration.

Each year, Palestinian children from East Jerusalem are routinely arrested in the middle of the night from their homes, interrogated without the presence of a lawyer or parent, and verbally and physically abused during arrest, transfer and interrogation.

Palestinians in Jerusalem fear that Israel’s disregard for their rights will only increase, as the U.S. moves its embassy to Jerusalem in mid-May after President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Until we hold Israeli authorities accountable for these entrenched and flagrant violations of international law, Palestinians in Jerusalem will continue to be targets of discrimination.


¹ http://www.hamoked.org/files/2017/1162151_eng.pdf

² https://www.ochaopt.org/sites/default/files/factsheet_booklet_final_21_12_2017.pdf

³ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) demolition database.

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