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Israel limits Palestinians to less than 10 per cent of Jerusalem

February 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

On Monday Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds reported that two Israeli human rights organisations filed a petition to the Central Israeli Court in Jerusalem against the Israeli structural map Jerusalem 2000.

Citizen’s Rights and Bemakom organisations have said that they are repealing against the map, as it is illegal on the grounds it planned to limit Palestinians to an area of only 7.8 per cent of Jerusalem.

The two organisations claimed that the Israeli Authorities deal with Jerusalem 2000 as an abiding “political document.” They refuse any other building plans if they clash with the document despite the fact that it is unapproved and has no legal force.

Residents did not even have the chance to repeal against it when it was drafted.

The structural situation in Jerusalem, the two organisations said, has been negatively affected as the document is not approved. This situation caused much damage to Jerusalem residents, particularly Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who are encircled within an area of only 7.8 per cent.

The reduced area specified for Palestinians in Jerusalem led to a reduced number of houses. That made the Palestinian neighbourhoods densely populated. However, Palestinian residents form 39 per cent of the total residents in Jerusalem and they are permitted to build houses on 14 per cent of the East Jerusalem area, which is 7.8 per cent of the whole area of Jerusalem. It means that Jerusalem 2000 challenges civilised growth for Jerusalemites.

The researchers of the two organisations said that the structural maps of Jerusalem are not detailed enough to get construction permits based on them. It is clearly aimed at limiting the residential expansion in East Jerusalem.

Engineer Efrat Kohen-Bar from Bemakom said: “As a result of the restrictions imposed on construction in East Jerusalem, Palestinian residents are obliged to find solutions to their problems. They pay the costs for producing new maps based on Jerusalem 2000, which is not approved.”

In response, the Regional Planning Committee froze a large number of the maps issued by Palestinians. Kohen-Bar said that had resulted in planning chaos in the Palestinian neighbourhood.