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The Occupation and Annexation of Jerusalem through Israeli Bills and Laws

Monday, 05 March 2018 09:58
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The UN General Assembly 1947 Partition Resolution (181), which was rejected both by the Palestinians and Arab States recommended granting Jerusalem a special international status under the administrative authority of the United Nations. Following the Nakba in 1948, a state of Israel was declared, extending its sovereignty beyond the borders designated by the UN partition resolution and including parts of Jerusalem, currently described as West Jerusalem, whereas the remaining eastern part of the City, was annexed by Jordan, officially in 1950.[1] In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank including East Jerusalem and then annexed the remaining part of Jerusalem through unilateral action and Israeli laws.[2]

 In addition to the excessive use of physical force, coercive measures, and land acquisition, Israel has worked to develop laws and policies that would enable it to seize control and expand its settler-colonial project throughout Palestine, more specifically in Jerusalem. Furthermore, Israel has segregated the city from the rest of the occupied territory physically but also through the applicable legal regimes. While Israel imposes its military regime on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it has applied Israeli domestic laws in Jerusalem. By doing so, it has disrupted the contiguity of the occupied Palestinian territory, comprising the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and served to benefit Israel’s strategic manoeuvres to divide and conquer.

Over the years, the Israeli authorities have adopted and acted upon a master plan for Jerusalem, “the capital of Israel and the centre of the Jewish people” where the demographic target for 2020 would constitute 60 per cent Jews and 40 per cent Arabs.[3] Furthermore, the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) has played a significant role in furthering Israel’s demographic control plans and reinventing a Jerusalem that fits one narrative and one people only; a Zionist-Jewish narrative.

The table below (Table 1) encompasses recent bills in the Israeli Parliament relevant to Israel’s attempts to alter the legal status of Jerusalem – in contravention of international law. The bills have focused on an array of issues relevant to claiming the city as Israel’s capital. In fact, these bills deny Palestinians’ basic human rights, including those in Jerusalem, by denying them their the fundamental right to self-determination, restricting their freedom of movement, the right to an adequate standard of living, as well as other economic, social, cultural, and civil and political rights. It should be noted that the following table provides a non-exhaustive list of bills, reviewed by the Israeli Parliament during its 20th round, which was elected on 17 March 2015 and sworn in on 31 March 2015, and relevant to Israel’s discriminatory and annexationist policies, aiming to alter the status of Jerusalem, by targeting Palestinians residing there.

Bill number Name in Hebrew Name in English Date Submitted Status
Status of Jerusalem
Proposed bills under the Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel (1980)
P/20/4346 הצעת חוק-יסוד: ירושלים בירת ישראל (תיקון מס' 2) Basic Law Bill: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel (Amendment No. 2) 26 June 2017 Accepted 1 January 2018
P/20/4524 הצעת חוק-יסוד: ירושלים בירת ישראל (תיקון - משאל עם) Bill for the Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel (Amendment No. 2 - Clauses regarding the area of Jerusalem and the required majority for changing them)  26 July 2017 Presented to the Parliament for preliminary discussion
Proposed Bills under no Pre-Existing Law
P/20/4546 הצעת חוק להצלת ירושלים כעיר בירה יהודית ודמוקרטית, התשע"ז-2017 Proposed Law for the Rescue of Jerusalem as a Jewish and Democratic Capital City, 2017 26 July 2017 Removed from the agenda 15-11-2017
P/20/4386 הצעת חוק ירושלים ובנותיה, התשע"ז-2017 The Bill for the “Jerusalem and Its Daughters” Law 10 July 2017 Presented to the Parliament for preliminary discussion
P/20/4109 הצעת חוק ירושלים ובנותיה, התשע"ז-2017 The Bill for the “Jerusalem and Its Daughters” Law 2017 22 March 2017 Presented to the Parliament for preliminary discussion
P/20/4158 הצעת חוק ירושלים רבתי, התשע"ז-2017 Proposed Greater Jerusalem Law, 2017 22 March 2017 Submitted to the Parliament's table
Status of Residents
Proposed bills under the Entry into Israel Law (1952)
P/20/4744 הצעת חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון - תחולה על תושבי מזרח ירושלים ושיקול דעת שר הפנים), התשע"ח-2017 Bill for the Entry into Israel Law (Amendment – Applicability to East Jerusalem’s residents and resorting to the Interior Minister’s judgment) 2017 13 November 2017 Presented to the Parliament's table for an early discussion
P/20/4479 הצעת חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון - שלילת אשרה ורישיון לישיבת קבע למחבלים ולמשפחותיהם), התשע"ז-2017 Bill for the Entry into Israel Law (Amendment - Revocation of Visa and Permanent Residence Permits of Terrorists and their Families) 2017 24 July 2017 Presented to the Parliament's table for an early discussion
P/20/3994 הצעת חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון - ביטול אשרה ורישיון לישיבת קבע למחבלים ולמשפחותיהם עקב השתתפות בפעילות טרור), התשע"ז-2017 Bill for the Entry into Israel Law (Amendment - Cancellation of Visa and Permanent Residence Permits of Terrorists and their Families after their Participation in Terrorist Activities) - 2017 14 March 2017 Presented to the Parliament for an early discussion
P/20/1906 חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון מס' 28), התשע"ז–2017 The Entry into Israel Law (Amendment No. 28), 2017 27 July 2015 ACCEPTED 14 March 2017
P/20/2808 הצעת חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון - ביטול אשרה ורישיון לישיבת קבע למחבלים ולמשפחותיהם עקב השתתפות בפעילות טרור), התשע"ו-2016 Bill for the Entry into Israel Law (Amendment - Cancellation of Visa and Permanent Residence Permits for Terrorists and their Families after their Participation in Terrorist Activities) 21 March 2016 Presented to the Parliament for an early discussion
P/20/2463 הצעת חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון - שלילת תושבות לאדם שהפר אמונים למדינת ישראל או לקרובו), התשע"ו-2016 Proposed Entry into Israel Law (Amendment - Revocation of Residency of a Person Who Breached allegiance to the State of Israel), 2016 4 January 2016 Presented to the Parliament for preliminary discussion
P/10/2002 הצעת חוק הכניסה לישראל (תיקון מס' 30), התשע"ח-2018 Bill Entry into Israel Law (ammendment number 30), 2018 26 February 2018 Accepted 7 March 2018

 

In addition, Israeli laws (which at times begin as bills before the Israeli parliament) have further entrenched Israel’s illegal claim to the city of Jerusalem. As such, the “Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel” of 1980, rejected by a UN Security Council Resolution,[5] explicitly defines a united Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. The Basic Law has been amended, most recently on 2 January 2018, to reaffirm Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and granting Israel the competence to redraw the municipal borders of Jerusalem, to exclude Palestinian neighbourhoods therein and to annex settlements.[6] The approved amendment further indicated that in order to give up sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, 80 votes are required from the Members of its parliament. The following table (Table 2) provides a non-exhaustive list of Israeli laws targeting Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and the various attempts to domestically legalise Israel’s unlawful annexation of the City:

Name in Hebrew Name in English Year Description
Law on Jerusalem Status
פקודת סדרי השלטון והמשפט, תש"ח-1948 Law and Administration Ordinance, 5708-1948 1948 Article 11(b) of the Law and Administration Ordinance,gives the government the authority to extend its jurisdiction, through an  order of government "to any area of Eretz Israel" (Eretz is an undefined geographical area of land, broader than Mandatory Palestine). 
צו סדרי השלטון והמשפט (מס' 1), תשכ"ז-1967 Order of Government and Law 1967 Based on Article 11(b) of the Law and Administration Ordinance, the government issued a decree to expand the applicability of Israeli law to 70 square kilometers of the occupied territory.
חוק-יסוד: ירושלים בירת ישראל Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel 1980 The Law on Jerusalem states that Jerusalem "complete and united" is the Capital of Israel, unlawfully annexing Jerusalem. The Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel is therefore of declarative nature, as the annexation was orchestrated in 1967 through a decree issued under the Law and Administration Ordinance. This Law provides a constitutional value to the annexation.
Law Affecting Palestinian Status in Jerusalem
חוק האזרחות, תשי"ב-1952 The Nationality and Entry into Israel Law 1952 Under Article 11 of this Law, the Minister of Interior can revoke the residency status of Palestinians from Jerusalem. Article 11: Cancellation of visas etc. "(a)The Minister of the Interior may at his discretion (1)cancel any visa granted under this Law, either before or on the arrival of the visa holder in Israel; (2)cancel any permit of residence granted under this Law."
חוק האזרחות והכניסה לישראל (הוראת שעה), תשס"ג-2003 The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 2003 The Law (still active) prohibits the Israeli Minister of Interior from granting Palestinian citizens of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who are married to citizens of Israel a "license" or "permit" to reside or stay in Jerusalem or Israel.
חוק נכסי נפקדים, תש"י - 1950 Absentees' Property Law, 5710 - 1950 1950 Defines those who were expelled, or fled, or left Mandate Palestine after 29 November 1947, and their property, including land and houses, as absentee. As a result, the "absentee" property was placed under the control of Israel which has allowed Israel to control and acquire more property.
"Soft Laws": Planning and Building in Jerusalem
תכנית מתאר ירושלים 2020 2020 Master Plan 2004 The Master Plan targets several development areas in Jerusalem (east and west), such as urban planning, archeology, tourism, economy, education, transportation, environment, culture, and others.
חזון עתידני למטרופולין ירושלים 2050 Master Plan (also known as the Jerusalem 5800 Plan) 2010 - 2050 The 5800 Plan is concerned with the development of Jerusalem and shaping it into a 'world city', focusing on the tourism industry, planning and infrastrucure, among numerous others.
פיתוחה הכלכלי של ירושלים - תכנית מרום The Marom Plan 2014 The Marom Plan is a major project focusing on the economic development of Jerusalem, especially in areas of tourism, biotechnology industry, the AcademiCity project, and internal migration.

Meanwhile, international law rejects as a breach, any Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and instead has condemned Israel’s measures to alter the demographics and status of the City. Despite Israel’s extensive efforts to create facts on the ground for Jerusalem to become accepted as Israel’s capital, international law rejects it. Although, portraying a weak stance, surrounded by a lacking substantial action to halt Israel’s efforts of annexation and colonisation, numerous UN Resolutions, by both the General Assembly and Security Council, have been issued, yet not necessarily implemented, focusing on Jerusalem, as illustrated in the table below (Table 3): 

United Nations General Assembly United Nations Security Council
Resolution 181 (1947) Resolution 50 (1948)
Resolution 194 (1948) Resolution 127 (1958)
Resolution 303(IV) (1949) Resolution 250 (1968)
Resolution 356 (IV) (1949) Resolution 251 (1968)
Resolution 468 (V) (1950) Resolution 252 (1968)
Resolution 2253 (1967) Resolution 267 (1969)
Resolution 37/123 (1982) Resolution 271(1969)
Resolution 38/180 (1983) Resolution 298 (1971)
Resolution 446 (1979)
Resolution 452 (1979)
Resolution 476 (1980)
Resolution 478 (1980)
Resolution 465 (1980)
Resolution 1073 (1996)
Resolution 2334 (2016)

This document was developed by Community Action Centre (Al-Quds University) and Al-Haq, and is subject to regular updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, were annexed to Jordan while the Gaza Strip was under the Egyptian administration, with a Palestinian government claiming the sovereignty over all of mandatory Palestine.

[2] “The illegal annexation of East Jerusalem was first brought about by an amendment to the Law and Administrative Ordinance 1948, passed on 27 June 1967, which held that the law, jurisdiction and administration of the state shall extend to any area of Eretz [Land] Israel designated order of the government. On 28 June 1967, the Israeli authorities used this amendment to place 30,000 dunums of the West Bank part of Jerusalem, including its Old City, under Israeli judicial and administrative control. On the same day, and using another amended law, the Israeli Municipality of West Jerusalem extended its borders over those same 30,000 dunums, bringing the Palestinians of East Jerusalem within its jurisdiction. The East Jerusalem Municipality was ordered to cease operations the next day, and Israel completed its annexation under the banner of integration of services.” See Al-Haq, 40 Years after the Unlawful Annexation of East Jerusalem: Consolidation of the Illegal Situation Continues through the Construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail, 12 October 2010, available at: http://alhaq.org/advocacy/topics/wall-and-jerusalem/144-40-years-after-the-unlawful-annexation-of-east-jerusalem-consolidation-of-the-illegal-situation-continues-through-the-construction-of-the-jerusalem-light-rail

[3] Coalition for Jerusalem, Master Plan 2000 – English Translation, 2 May 2007, available at: http://coalitionforjerusalem1.blogspot.com/2007/05/master-plan-2000-english-translation.html [4] The tables provided in this publication were developed by Al-Haq and Community Action Centre (CAC – Al-Quds University) and is expected to be regularly updated.

[5] See for example: UN Security Council Resolution 476 (1980), adopted 30 June 1980, S/RES/476 (1980); and UN Security Council Resolution 478 (1980), 20 August 1980, S/RES/478 (1980).

[6] Knesset, Knesset Passes Law Requiring 80-MK Majority for Giving Up Sovereignty over any Part of Jerusalem, 2 January 2018, available at: https://www.knesset.gov.il/spokesman/eng/PR_eng.asp?PRID=13709