Since the Six-Day War and the change in the boundaries of Jerusalem, Israel's governments have tried to maintain the Jewish demographic advantage in Jerusalem. They have done this by controlling the physical space of the east part of the city and increasing attempts to "Judaize" East Jerusalem. Since the borders of Jerusalem were changed in 1967, 30% of the land of East Jerusalem was expropriated in order to build the "new neighborhoods" (Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev, French Hill, Neve Yaacov and others) in which nearly 200,000 Israelis presently live. The massive expropriation of land was carried out over the years by governments of all political stripes and indicates a clear and coherent Israeli policy.
In Israeli public discourse these neighborhoods are not treated as settlements and receive a high level of legitimacy. It is important to note that according to the international community they are settlements because they were built beyond the Green Line on land that by international law is considered occupied; the consensus is that the future of these neighborhoods should be decided in political negotiations between the sides. According to various proposals for peace agreements raised in official and unofficial channels, there is a tendency to reach an understanding that these neighborhoods will not be evacuated in future agreements and that their land be included in land swaps. However, as long as no comprehensive agreement has been reached, Israeli construction in these neighborhoods draws criticism and resentment by the Palestinians and the international community.
As opposed to the large neighborhoods built in East Jerusalem, Ir Amim uses the term "settlements" in Jerusalem mainly for Jewish construction in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods at the initiative of settler organizations, whose motive is political-ideological. For more information on settlements in East Jerusalem .
A large number of Israeli building plans are being promoted in East Jerusalem, some that will expand already existing neighborhoods and some that entail building new neighborhoods. Some of these plans will encircle East Jerusalem with Israeli neighborhoods, designed to separate East Jerusalem from the West Bank, and to foil the possibility of a political solution that will include dividing the city and allowing East Jerusalem to serve as the capital of the Palestinian state ׂ(to view the map of the future Israeli construction plans)
Two planned massive construction projects, Mevasseret Adumim in E1 and Givat Yael in southern Jerusalem, have exceptional significance for the political future of Jerusalem. If they are built they will constitute barriers that will separate the West Bank from East Jerusalem; construction in E1 will also disrupt the contiguity between the northern West Bank and its south. Realizing the plans will severely impede the possibility of reaching an agreed settlement on the question of Jerusalem, Ir Amim believes they should be addressed in detail:
E1 area - between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.
Givat Yael - in southeast Jerusalem.|