Israel attempting to 'wipe out' Palestinian identity in East Jerusalem: report

Israel attempting to 'wipe out' Palestinian identity in East Jerusalem: report
A new report by Crisis Group has highlighted the extent in which the Israeli government is planning on erasing the Palestinian identity, in its ongoing process of annexing East Jerusalem.
3 min read
12 June, 2019
Jerusalem's Palestinian heritage is under threat [Getty]

Israel is trying to avert what it perceives to be a Palestinian population crisis by illegally annexing more land to even out the Jewish population in Jerusalem, according to a new report.

The report, published by Crisis Group on Wednesday, said that Israel is carrying out “dangerous” policies to push out Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem.

For decades, the Israeli government has neglected East Jerusalem in an attempt to drive Palestinians away but with Palestinians remaining on their land and resisting the Israeli occupation, the Tel Aviv government is resorting to more extreme measures, including physically increasing the Jewish population as it progresses to full annexation.

“For 50 years, the state has tried to attract more Jews to East Jerusalem and to prod Palestinians to leave. Israel’s national leaders increasingly recognise that this policy has failed to secure a lasting Jewish majority: too few Jews have moved in, and many continue to leave, while too few Palestinians have departed”, the report said.

“If current demographic trends persist, Jerusalem could become a minority-Jewish city as early as 2045.”

Any perceived investment in occupied East Jerusalem is actually a step forward to annexation, according to the report, with even the Palestinian identity being at threat.

Israel is trying to change the education system for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. Some Knesset members have gone to the extent of suggesting the complete erasure of Palestinian identity by imposing a new name on them: “Arabs of Jerusalem”.

“Israel adopted a five-year plan allocating $530 million to East Jerusalem. But the plan’s real goal is to assert Israeli sovereignty, including, most dangerously, by cataloguing all East Jerusalem’s lands in the Israel Land Registry and inducing its schools to use Israeli curricula”, the report said.

Trump's holy blessing

The Trump administration has given Israel its full support in the illegal annexation process.

Over the weekend, US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said in an interview with the New York Times, that some degree of annexation of the West Bank would be legitimate.

"Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank," he said.

Israel took over mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

It now considers the entire city its capital, citing the Jewish historical and biblical connection there.

The Palestinians see east Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, as the capital of their future state.

Some 320,000 Palestinians live in east Jerusalem, while the Israeli settler population there has grown to 210,000.

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