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Israel to separate Arab neighbourhoods from Jerusalem

View of the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp behind Israel's apartheid wall in east Jerusalem on 3 December 2014 [Muammar Awad/Apaimages]
View of a Palestinian refugee camp behind Israel's apartheid wall in east Jerusalem on 3 December 2014 [Muammar Awad/Apaimages]

Israeli sources revealed a "secret plan" to separate the Shuafat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem and Kafr Aqab, north of the city, from the Jerusalem Municipality, in an effort to "preserve a Jewish majority in Jerusalem".

Israeli Channel 10 reported that the plan provides for separating the areas "administratively" and merge them within a local council outside Jerusalem while they remain under full Israeli control.

More than 140,000 Palestinians live in the town and the refugee camp.

The head of the Jerusalem Neighbourhood Committee, Munir Zaghir, told Quds Press that the Jerusalem Municipality "neglects its duty towards those neighbourhoods because of the security situation, and this has been its pretext whenever we demand our rights to live a decent life".

Read: Greater Israeli violations against Palestinians in 2017

He added that the municipality is trying to find private companies who could provide services to the people of Kafr Aqab and Shuafat Camp while keeping both areas under its administration.

The people of Kafr Aqab face many problems due to the lack of services including "interruption of water supply, lack of infrastructure and streets", Zaghir explained. "We have lawsuits pending in the Israeli courts for years now while nothing changes on the ground."

Zaghir pointed out that nearly 65,000 Jerusalemites live in the town of Kafr Aqab in slums, and pay the property tax and health insurance but do not receive any services stressing that 12,000 have applied to the Israeli interior ministry to be reunited with their families in Jerusalem after the Separation Wall was erected.

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