Dienstag, 11. Januar 2011

13. Siedlungspolitik Israels- Zionist/Israeli Planning: The Fabrication of Israel – V.2 Jerusalem and the Wall

Neue Veröffentlichung! Teil 13 online verfügbar (siehe unten)


About the Usurpation and Destruction of Palestine through Zionist Spatial Planning

A Unique Planning Issue

Viktoria Waltz - Herausgeberin - Dortmund 2010 – Eigenverlag

Die hier in loser Folge zur Veröffentlichung vorliegenden Texte geben einen detaillierten Einblick in die Vorgänge, die zum Konstrukt Israel geführt haben und lassen keinen Zweifel daran, dass es unter den bestehenden zionistischen Rahmenbedingungen um nichts geringeres als das Ganze geht, um ein jüdisches Israel ohne Palästinenser und mit keinem Impuls für zwei Staaten, die nebeneinander leben könnten und auch nicht um eine Integration Israels in den Nahen Osten, sondern um die Fortsetzung des aggressiven, zerstörerischen Kurses bis hin zu weiteren Kriegen. (wöchentlich mittwochs online)
Killing the Cities - the Example of Jerusalem/Al Quds, Hebron/Al Khalil and Jaffa in Israel
Jamal Amro
2. Destruction of the Palestinian urban Fabric and Landscape in
East Jerusalem after 1967 and the Effects of the Segregation Wall

Conclusion from last chapter (see archive No. 12 Dec.2010):
The peace process did not ease at all a solution for the so-called ‘Jerusalem Question’. On the contrary: Reality shows that the Israeli policy in East Jerusalem is part of the judaising process in whole Palestine, nowadays concentrating on Jerusalem. Israel enforces – and each Israeli government was and is involved - by planning matters the judaising of the Old City, the environment of the Old City and the remaining eastern, northern and southern residential areas of East Palestinian Jerusalem.
The effect of all mentioned projects and measures is an intended substantial change of the historical and the Palestinian character of Jerusalem. They also influence the economy and the future of the East Jerusalem Palestinian society, which substantially depend on tourism, since the relations to the hinterland are cut off. The different activities since the occupation destroyed the central economical basis and tourism.
While the Western (new) City has all the needed means to serve international tourism with parking space, bus connections, guides and tourist information centers, the Eastern (Palestinian) City is deprived more and more from modern tourist infrastructure. Keeping and upgrading the historical landscape, valleys, villages, and the important places for the Muslims and the Christians in the east are facing more and more difficulties and obstacles, while the Jewish defined places receive the most care and attention from the Israeli governed municipality. This is fact even more in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Since the illegal and total closure for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza following the peace agreements in Oslo, Jerusalem has lost its existential role for the Palestinian hinterland. The provocation of Sharon and the following outbreak of the Al Aqsa Intifada made tourism completely dead. The political, economic, cultural and social situation of the Palestinian inhabitants of the city, declined dramatically. Moreover, the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza region are denied access to basic social institutions like hospitals and schools. The Segregation Wall will complete the total isolation of the Palestinian Jerusalemites and intends to hinder establishing East Palestinian Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital in a Palestinian State. Again the geographical, demographic and cultural usurpation of Jerusalem is part of the long time before planned cleansing program for Palestine and actual since the right wing parties came into power 2008 a 'par force' judaisation is on the way, threatening Palestinians’ history, identity and socio-economic basics. The so called ‘unification’ is understood and cemented by facts and planning as a Jewish unification of Jerusalem, hence part of the cultural genocide already started since last century.
The next section will go deeply to the effects of planning and especially the Segregation Wall in terms of destroying the geographic and demographic continuity of Palestinian Jerusalem.

Jamal Amro
2. Destruction of the Palestinian urban Fabric and Landscape in
East Jerusalem after 1967 and the Effects of the Segregation Wall

Jerusalem, as a lively city, has been affected by what has happened since 1967 inside and around it, and thus, its features have changed over the years. This section sheds light on the urban, demographic, and area transformations which have happened in Jerusalem since the Israeli capture of the city, especially since the erection of the Segregation Wall.

2.1 Demographic and Urban Transformations in Jerusalem after 1967
In order to create a state of geographic integrity with cities inside Israel, the boundaries of Jerusalem were extended by annexing more land from the occupied West Bank, almost a two-fold extension compared to the total area of the Jerusalem governorate prior to June 1967. Thus, the current area of occupied Jerusalem governorate amounts to 126,000 dunam based on a rule stressing the annexation of more less populated land along with complete demolition of any Palestinian communities that may threat or obstruct the intended geographic integrity, especially in the western side of the governorate. The demolition and complete depopulation of the three Latroon villages Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba has been a live example on the measures Israel has been taking in this respect.
The Israeli illegal measures have not stopped at this point but rather underwent serious acceleration. Namely, the Israeli occupation authorities embarked on knotting a colony belt around Jerusalem as preventive security armour for Jerusalem to be as a first defence line of its borders. This implied the adoption of a more aggressive land confiscation policy by the Israeli government, which targeted thousands of dunam from the Palestinian land under different pretexts. This policy had other dimensions including construction of Israeli colonies on the confiscated land, coupled with a serious obstruction of Palestinian urban expansion and construction growth in nearby areas as well as domination of more land, already explained. In this way, the Israelis achieved the greatest part of their plans and intentions for long years in the future.
Geographically speaking, the boundaries of the occupied city were expanded to an extent that allows the absorption of as much Jewish settlers on colonies as possible. Demographically, less populated Palestinian communities were annexed while stressing the obstruction of any urban growth of the communities. These two urban dimensions have been worsened further by the construction of the segregation wall in 2002 and the colonies belt around Jerusalem. Thus, Israel imposed this reality which received complete Palestinian and international dismissal (Mustafa 2000).
From Israel's viewpoint, it succeeded in surrounding Jerusalem and accomplishing its historic project through illegal administrative regulations and measures, which at the end will lead to imposing its authority on the Palestinian City. This also includes the annexation and domination of the various aspects of living conditions of its Palestinian people via distortions of realities and creation of new realities on the ground. These endeavours are aimed to legitimise its illegal procedures and exclude Palestinian Jerusalem in the text of relevant UN and international resolutions. However, international resolutions and conventions at the top of which Geneva Fourth Convention for 1949 completely reject any change in the status of occupied territories. Thus, articles III - 49 and 53 of Geneva Fourth Convention for 1949 prohibits all practices of the Israeli occupation including demolition, evacuation, depopulation, and endangering the security and lives of the Palestinian citizens under occupation. In addition, world states and UN including Security Council and other international agencies and organisations still deal with Jerusalem as part of the occupied West Bank on which relevant UN resolutions apply (Security Council Resolutions: 242, 252,253,254,267,198 and General Assembly Resolutions 2253, 2254).These Resolutions stress that the international legitimacy deems the annexation of Jerusalem and changing its urban structure illegal; abort the Israeli plans for having Jerusalem as its 'unified capital' and stress the Palestinian identity of Jerusalem which is deeply rooted in the Palestinian history.
Soon after the 1967 war the Israeli government began implementing new measures to change the physical features of the Occupied Territories including Jerusalem, imposing massive Israeli housing colonies, or "facts on the ground," that would be difficult to uproot. We observed that the most significant measures pertaining to East Jerusalem’s urban development were the following:
· The June 27, 1967 Israeli Knesset declaration of the application of Israel law, jurisdiction and administration to East Jerusalem.
· The decision, also issued June 27, that allowed the Interior Minister to increase the area of the Jerusalem municipality, broadening the borders of East Jerusalem to an area of 69,000 dunam. The decision was published in the Official Gazette the very same day. On March 10, 1985, the city's borders were expanded once again to 70,400 dunam, nearly 12 times the area under Jordanian rule. (Dunum = 1,000 m2 or 1 ha).
· The destruction of the Magharbeh (Maghreb) Quarter, which was blasted with dynamite after giving local residents three hours to evacuate their homes. The move literally paved the way for the Israeli government to construct the Wailing Wall Plaza and the Israeli Quarter. The Israelis confiscated 116 dunam of Old City property, including the Magharbeh, Al- Sharaf, Nabi Daood, Al-Maidan, and parts of the Assyrian neighbourhoods. The confiscation included 700 stone buildings (437 workshops and stores, and 1,048 apartments, inhabited by more than 6,000 Palestinians). Prior to 1948, Israelis had owned only 105 of those buildings.
· The dissolution, on June 29, 1967, of the Jerusalem Municipal Council, elected in 1963, the confiscation of its records and properties, and the integration of the council's Palestinian employees with the West (Israeli) Jerusalem municipality. The Jerusalem Mayor, Mr. Rawhi Al-Khatib, was expelled to Jordan on March 7, 1968.
· Confiscation and seizure of Palestinian lands located in the extended municipality borders, as of September 1, 1968. Other areas were subject to "closure" as green areas or military zones (there are four military camps in East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah, Anata, Nabi Ya'cob, Ar-Ram) to be used later for Israeli colonies. Between 1968 and 1991, a total of 23,548 dunam were confiscated in East Jerusalem, equivalent to 33 percent of the total area, to be added to nearly 37,348 dunam outside the zoned areas (green areas, streets, camps, etc.). The majority of this land was reserved for continued urban expansion of Israeli colonies. Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem mayor from 1965-1993, said:
"We decided from the first session of the (expanded) Jerusalem Municipal Council to classify vast areas of lands in East Jerusalem as green zones where construction is banned, and we refused the structural zoning maps presented by Palestinian residents" (Benvenisti 1995). Due to this policy, Palestinians in Jerusalem were left with only 9,504 dunam on which to build and expand.
· Beginning in 1968, the Israeli government began to change the building and housing features of East Jerusalem, erecting 15 colonies inside its borders. In 1999, the 16th illegal colony began on Mount Abu Ghneim, near Bethlehem. The colonies drastically changed the Jewish-Palestinian ratio. In 1967, only a few dozen Israelis lived in East Jerusalem (at Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital), but by 1998, the figure had reached 156,412 or 48 percent of the city's residents. The colonies were built in strategic locations to prevent the urban expansion and collusion of Palestinian areas, which could become the capital of a Palestinian state. While Israeli colonies were expanding, constraints were imposed on Palestinian construction through zoning schemes and delays in the issuing of building permits. Even when permits were granted, applicants were required to pay enormous sums, ranging from $15,000 - $20,000; such fees constituted nearly half the cost of a first-class independent building on a 200-meter area (excluding the cost of the land).
· Between 1967 and 1993, Palestinian residents could build only 10,492 housing units in East Jerusalem, compared with 44,481 units erected for Israelis. The annual ratio of Jewish-Palestinian construction during this period was 4.4:1. Another contributing factor in this disparity was the fact that Israeli construction was basically state-funded, while Palestinian construction was not.
After 1967, Israeli finance ministers began to sign confiscation orders one after the other, based on The Law of Expropriation for Public Benefit (1950). They also published them in the official newspaper (Official Gazette). Once land was confiscated, its original owners were barred from planting or building on it. New Israeli colonies were then established, preventing the land from ever being returned to its real owners and changing the Palestinian structure and identity of East Jerusalem. 71.7 percent of East Jerusalem land was confiscated from Palestinians primarily from 1968 -1970, so to quickly establish colonies and attract Israeli residents to live in them. ...