The impossible choice faced by East Jerusalem Palestinians

Palestinians in East Jerusalem live in an ongoing state of limbo: either stay where they are and risk having any additions they make to their homes demolished, or move away and lose their residency status. The building of the apartheid wall created a bizarre situation in which two places within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries were nonetheless left “outside” it: Shuafat Refugee Camp and Kafr Aqab. Illegal construction goes on in both these places; the cramped conditions and the fact that no building inspections are carried out has led to dangerous structures, overcrowded and too high. Although they’re thought of as part of Jerusalem, both places are effectively abandoned territory.Ultimately, the government and the municipality want to reduce the presence of Arabs in the city and turn its populace into a majority Jewish one. At the same time, Jerusalem’s Arab residents live in daily fear of losing their means of support and status as residents. They cannot display any opposition because they know all too well that the municipality and the government have got them in a vise. And so, existence becomes impossible.
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