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East Jerusalem

From Academic Kids

East Jerusalem is that part of Jerusalem which was held by Jordan from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War until the Six-Day War in 1967. It contains the Old City and some of the holiest sites in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions, including the Western Wall, the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary (containing the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque), and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It lies at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as warring factions engage in verbal and military disputes to gain control over it. It excludes Mount Scopus, which became an Israeli enclave in Jordanian-ruled East Jerusalem. It has been widely mooted as the future capital of a state of Palestine (for instance, by Mahmoud Abbas[1] (http://www.infoisrael.net/cgi-local/text.pl?source=2/a/ii/200220051)), although Palestinian Authority law currently specifies the whole of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine[2] (http://english.people.com.cn/200210/06/eng20021006_104530.shtml).

According to the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Jerusalem was supposed to be an international city, not part of either the proposed Jewish or Arab state. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, West Jerusalem was captured by Israel, while East Jerusalem (including the Old City) was captured by Jordan. In 1950 East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank, was annexed to Jordan. However, the annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by the United Kingdom and perhaps Pakistan; the United Kingdom did not recognize the Jordanian annexation of East Jerusalem. During the Six-Day War of 1967 Israel captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and eventually annexed 6.4 km of Jordanian Jerusalem and 64 km of the nearby West Bank to the City of Jerusalem.[3] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/world/2001/israel_and_palestinians/key_maps/3.stm) Under Israel, members of all religions were largely granted access to their holy sites, with the Muslim Waqf maintaining control of the Temple Mount and Muslim holy sites there. The old Mughrabi Quarter (Morrocan) neighborhood in front of the Wall was demolished and replaced with a large open air plaza.

Residents of the annexed territory were offered Israeli permanent residency, and the option of citizenship on condition they swore allegiance to Israel and renounce all other citizenships, which most of them refused to do. Those rejecting Israeli citizenship are still free to vote in municipal elections and play a role in the administration of the city.

In 1980 Israel enacted its "Jerusalem Law" formally declaring East and West Jerusalem together, "whole and united" to be "the capital of Israel". In response the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 478, declaring the annexation to be a violation of international law. In 1988, Jordan, while rejecting Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, withdrew all its claims to the West Bank (including Jerusalem). The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, signed September 13, 1993, leaves open the final status of Jerusalem, though Israel did not cede sovereignty until final negotiations on the city's status.

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