14 May, 2018 12:00 PM

Palestinians live in a separate and unequal Jerusalem

Jerusalem, May 14, 2018—Mundubat will launch on Monday, May 14, The Other Jerusalem campaign, developed by Defense for Children International - Palestine, which seeks to challenge Israel’s prolonged occupation of East Jerusalem and the false notion of an “undivided Jerusalem.”

Palestinians in Jerusalem fear that Israel’s disregard for their rights will only increase, as the U.S. opens its embassy in Jerusalem after President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The campaign, supported by European Union funding, aims to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem by promoting awareness about this population’s plight under Israeli occupation.

More than 50 years ago, Israel established a de facto annexation of East Jerusalem on June 28, 1967, in violation of international law and unrecognized by the international community. Since then, discrimination against Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem, including those cut off from the city by the separation barrier, has become routine and entrenched.

Palestinians live in a separate and unequal Jerusalem where 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 2017, Israeli rights group HaMoked reported that Israel revoked the residency status of 14,630 Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

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, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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, OCHA reported.

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.

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

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