From the first contacts between Israel and the Palestinians over two decades ago, it has been understood that any diplomatic agreement between the two peoples would be premised on the principle of two capitals in Jerusalem.

Just before the 2000 Taba Conference, President Clinton proposed an outline for a permanent agreement. Regarding Jerusalem, Clinton proposed that: 1. Palestinian neighborhoods would be transferred to Palestinian sovereignty, while most of the Israeli neighborhoods over the Green Line would come under Israeli sovereignty and be connected to west Jerusalem. 2. A special arrangement in the Old City would enable worshipers from all religions to visit their respective holy places. The Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall would be under Israeli sovereignty; the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, the Muslim and Christian quarters would be under Palestinian sovereignty, along with the Armenian Quarter, which would have a protected corridor under Israeli sovereignty.

This map presents the changes that have occurred on the ground since Clinton presented his proposal. The map shows that while it is still possible to reach a diplomatic solution to the conflict in the city, it is becoming increasingly problematic due to the ongoing creation of new facts on the ground.

This is an interactive map.
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The different sections

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Jerusalem 2000
Municipal Boundary 1967
Green Line
Separation Barrier
Planned Route of Barrier
Built-up Area
Built-up Area
Israeli Construction since 2000
National parks
National park
Touristic settlement
Settlement compound
Israeli area according to the Geneva Initiative, based on the Clinton Parameters
The chances of a political solution in Jerusalem

By 2000, Israeli construction accounted for one-third of the area of East Jerusalem and 44,000 housing units. Har Homa, in the early stages of construction at the time the Clinton Parameters were introduced, was not included given its disruption of territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Between 2000 and 2014, an additional 10,000 housing units were built—roughly 40% alone in Har Homa, which has been transformed from a tiny outpost to a major neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Future plans, most of which have been approved and in some cases tendered, call for the establishment of a new neighborhood in Givat Hamatos and expansion of the neighborhoods along Jerusalem’s southern perimeter. These developments would completely block the area between Bethlehem and the southern corridor of East Jerusalem, from Har Homa through to Gilo. The plans also call for expansion of other Israeli neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and advancement of the controversial E-1 plan. Even if only implemented in part, these plans would seriously jeopardize any possible diplomatic solution.

20% Increase in the number of Israelis in East Jerusalem

(between 2000 and 2012)

Land for construction

Although 62% of East Jerusalem’s residents are Palestinian, Palestinians are permitted to build on just 14% of the land
Land where Palestinian construction is permitted
Palestinian residents

Construction in Har Homa

Between 2000 and 2014, the number of housing units increased by a factor of 17
274 housing units
4,653 housing units
Tenders for Israeli construction in East Jerusalem
Annapolis Conference
UN vote to grant Palestine non-member observer state status
Kerry Initiative
Benjamin Netanyahu March 2009 –
Ehud Olmert January 2006 – March 2009
Ariel Sharon January 2003 – January 2006

Israel encourages Jewish outposts in the Historic Basin in the form of residential settler compounds in the hearts of Palestinian neighborhoods, touristic settlement projects and national parks that promote an exclusively Jewish narrative. Increasing pressure to change the status quo on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is further fueling tension in the area.

In 2005, Israel earmarked NIS 400 million for national parks
in the Old City Basin

Restrictions on Muslims
entering the Temple Mount

2012 2014

Discussions in the Knesset Interior Committee regarding arrangements for Jewish prayer and visits on the Temple Mount

2003 to 2013 2013 to 2014

NIS 101 million The annual security budget for some 2,000 residents of Jewish settlements located within Palestinian neighborhoods in 2014

The Separation Barrier imposes a perception of a Greater Metropolitan Jerusalem that absorbs the three major settlement blocs around the city, carving deep into the West Bank, disrupting the territorial contiguity of the future Palestinian state and disconnecting it from East Jerusalem.

In so doing, the barrier also disrupts the economic, social and cultural links between East Jerusalem and the West Bank and drives the Palestinian residents of the city into profound poverty and social and cultural stagnation.

Total length of the Separation Barrier 168 km

The Separation Barrier in Jerusalem encloses an area that is 2.3 times greater than the city of Jerusalem itself

Municipal area
126 sq. km.
Area added to Jerusalem
by the barrier
164 sq. km.
Total area enclosed by the Separation Barrier - 290 sq. km.

The Separation Barrier leaves some 100,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem in 8 neighborhoods within the municipal line but beyond the barrier, disconnected from the city and deprived of services.

The Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem live in a state that considers the area part of its sovereign territory but does not see the residents themselves as part of the state. Palestinians are denied full civil status, living under a conditional status of permanent residency that leaves them vulnerable to profound discrimination in every facet of life.

The lack of a political agreement leaves Palestinian residents without political rights and without the ability to influence daily and public life.

37% of Jerusalem residents
are Palestinian

Palestinians Jews
and other

3,055 classrooms are missing in East Jerusalem

As of 2012, 60% of people living under the poverty line in Jerusalem are Palestinian. Only 4.2% of the municipal welfare budget is invested in East Jerusalem.

Welfare budget
4.2% 95.8%
Breakdown of poverty
60% Palestinians 40% Israeli

Mother and Child Clinics

5 mother and child clinics in East Jerusalem
compared to 26 in West Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
5 Mother and Child Clinics
West Jerusalem
26 Mother and Child Clinics
Between 1967 and 2012, 14,263 Palestinians lost their residency status in Jerusalem (8,149 since 2000 alone). Learn more ›
Budget gaps:
37% of residents – 10.1% of municipal investments Learn more ›
The dropout rate in East Jerusalem is 13% and there is a gap of 3,055 classrooms and kindergarten classrooms. Learn more ›
Over 20 Palestinian institutions have been closed and more than 80 cultural events cancelled since 2000.
Over half of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem do not have a regular supply of water.
Approximately 100,000 residents in neighborhoods beyond the Separation Barrier have been almost completely cut off from services and infrastructures in the city in which they work and with which they maintain social and cultural ties.

The cumulative impact of the realities described on this map seriously jeopardizes the chances of reaching a political solution in Jerusalem, though the intensity and irreversibility of the danger varies from one feature of the settlement enterprise (e.g. separation barrier, housing units) to another.

Massive Israeli construction has not entirely blocked the essential territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. However, if the plans that have already been approved are implemented (including plans for more than 9,000 additional housing units, 4,000 of which have been tendered), fatal damage could be done to this requisite contiguity.”

While the Separation Barrier could be dismantled, its impact on the Palestinian population is profound and will take years to repair.

Dismantling Israeli settlements in Palestinian neighborhoods is not unachievable but it comes at an increasingly heavy cost in terms of domestic Israeli politics.

Taking into account all the changes in and around Jerusalem since 2000, a solution based on two capitals in Jerusalem along the lines of the Clinton Parameters is still feasible, albeit with significant modifications. The extent of these modifications depends not only on the physical reality on the ground but also on political capacity and will.

Ir Amim

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