Wide spread measures to secure Israel’s grip on Jerusalem and insure it remains undivided have been announced ahead of Jerusalem Day this Wednesday 1st of June, according to a report by Hareetz.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a range of measures to maintain Israel’s undivided hold of Jerusalem. The measures were announced at a meeting of the Israeli cabinet inside Jerusalem’s “Old City” walls.
The measures include a $145 million increase in investments into hotels in Jerusalem, increased aid for Israeli military students studying in the city and further investment for biotechnology research in the city.
Palestinian News and Information Agency have also reported a planned bill to the Knesset that would change the names of Arabic Streets in Jerusalem to Hebrew ones and to prevent the use of Arab names in official documents and the media.
The PM, in his speech, reiterated his determination not to cede East Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state. ‘The unity of [Jerusalem] is one of the fundamentals of the unity of the nation of Israel” he said. Netanyahu also said that “the city was united 44 years ago, and we returned to our ancestral lands. Since then Jerusalem has flourished’.
Israel took control of East Jerusalem during the 1967 “Six Day War”. It celebrates that day every year during Jerusalem Day. International law recognises East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory and international bodies such as the UN has called for its return to Palestinian control. Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as their capital in any future Palestinian state.
The city is the scene of weekly clashed between Palestinians and the Israeli military. Palestinians complain of discrimination in planning permission, targeted housing demolitions and the Israeli separation wall which divides Palestinian communities in the area.
Israeli human rights organisations such as BT Salem and ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions) have highlighted what they view to be the direct targeting of Palestinian communities through housing demolitions to make way for Jewish settlers into the area.
The community of Silwan in East Jerusalem, a flashpoint of regular clashes between Palestinians and Israeli military, is being threatened with 80 housing demolitions to make way for a national park.