Welcome to Jerusalem…

After a few blog-less weeks I’m back! Things have been really hectic, and due to a series of unfortunate and unexpected circumstances our team has been pulled out of Jayyus. I’m very sad to leave this wonderful village and my life of incredibly fresh fruits and veggies, the warmest hospitality, and some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

With that said, for the remainder of my time here I’ll be staying in Jerusalem. So here is a bit of an introduction to the city…

Jerusalem has been a divided city since 1948, with West Jerusalem under Israeli rule,  East Jerusalem under Jordanian occupation, and the green line running through the middle of the city. The situation changed during the six day war in 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and began its annexation of East Jerusalem.

When East Jerusalem was annexed, the Palestinians living there became “residents” of Israel, but not citizens. In practice this means that Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have blue ID cards, while Palestinians living outside of East Jerusalem have green ID cards.

Since its annexation, the boundaries of the city have been continually expanded and several policies have been put in place to encourage Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, like in many parts of the West Bank. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have a lot of difficulty getting building or renovation permits, and the number of approved permits does not come close to meeting the housing need. This leads to Palestinians building without permits, and subsequently extremely frequent home demolition. In the few days I’ve been here I’ve met Palestinians who have been forcibly evicted from their homes by the military in order to make way for settlers. To learn more about the situation in East Jerusalem click here.

Over the last few months Jerusalem has been a hot spot for activity, with many home demolitions, extremely frequent clashes, and several violent attacks from one side onto the other. Here a few photos from the city…

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One thought on “Welcome to Jerusalem…

  1. Thoughts and prayers are with you and the team Zoe. I hope your time in Jerusalem is filled with learning and meaning. Christmas blessings to you and the community!
    Natalie,
    BC, Canada
    (EA Jayyous 2012)

    Like

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