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Cartographer claims that Israel plans a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem

February 17, 2014 at 11:14 pm

The head cartographer at the Arab Studies Association has told Palestine Radio that Israel’s occupation authorities are working to a strategy that will give occupied Jerusalem a Jewish majority. Khalil Al Tafkaji, the head of maps at the Association, said that this is being done to make it impossible for East Jerusalem to be the capital of an independent state of Palestine.

According to Tafkaji, Israel’s strategy is to build 60,000 illegal housing units in Occupied Jerusalem in order to change the city’s demographics. The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reported on Sunday that the Jerusalem Municipality does indeed have plans to construct 60,000 new housing units over the next 20 years. The aim is that by 2030, Jews will make up around 88% of the population of the city. “That will make it impossible for Jerusalem to be the capital of two states,” he said.

The housing units are planned in existing and new illegal settlements “on every inch of land in the city, including Arab neighbourhoods”. This, said Tafkaji, is a “message to the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims that Jerusalem is intended to be the capital of one state, and that’s a Jewish state.” The message to the international community, he added, is that building in Jerusalem is “like building in Tel Aviv”.

Jerusalem is not regarded as the capital of Israel by the international community; it is occupied land, and it is illegal for Israel to build houses east of the Green Line (the 1948 Armistice Line) for its own citizens.