|Homepage|| > ||Settlements in East Jerusalem|| > ||The Character of Settlements in Jerusalem|
The Character of Settlements in Jerusalem
The term "settlements" is problematic in the context of Jerusalem because most of the Israeli public does not consider the established Jewish neighborhoods built in the east part of Jerusalem after 1967 -- neighborhoods such as Gilo, French Hill and Pisgat Ze'ev -- to be settlements, even though that is their status according to international law and the position of the international community.
Ir Amim applies the term "settlement" in Jerusalem mainly to Jewish construction in the middle of Palestinian areas when the construction is not a direct and open government initiative -- namely concentrations of Jewish settlement in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, the Old City and the adjacent neighborhoods. Currently the number of settlers in East Jerusalem is about 2000, including the yeshiva students in the various settlements. For information about each of the settlements
Since 1967 the governments of Israel have given clear priority to ideological settler organizations operating to establish their hold in the most sensitive places in East Jerusalem, especially around the holy basin (see map). The settler organizations are working to strengthen Jewish presence -- usually by building fenced and guarded communities for Jews only -- in the middle of Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Since 2000, following the Oslo Accords on the one hand and the Clinton-Barak-Arafat talks on the other, there has been an evident attempt by the governments of Israel and the other organizations to step up efforts to establish facts on the ground to prevent the possibility of a future division of the city.
Although these initiatives are mostly private, Israeli governments have stood behind them covertly or overtly. The clear priority is sometimes given in a non-normative way that is not consistent with public norms and good government, completely ignoring long-term aspects and interests. So, for example, the government allocates hundreds of millions of shekels a year to provide these points of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem with private security services, at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer, rather than through the Israel Police.