Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem

Extended-protected article
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Reunification of Jerusalem)

The Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem, known to Israelis as the reunification of Jerusalem,[1][2][3] refers to the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, and its annexation.[4] Jerusalem was envisaged as a separate, international city under the 1947 United Nations partition plan, but it was divided by the 1948 war that followed Israel's declaration of independence. As a result of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, the city's western half came under Israeli control, while its eastern half, containing the famed Old City, fell under Jordanian control.[5][a] In 1950, Jordan annexed East Jerusalem as part of its larger annexation of the West Bank.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War; since then, the entire city has been under Israeli control. In Israel, the reunification of Jerusalem is celebrated is commemorated as Jerusalem Day, an annual holiday. In July 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law as part of the country's Basic Law, which declared unified Jerusalem the capital of Israel, formalizing its effective annexation.[7] The United Nations Security Council ruled the law "null and void" in United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.


Jordan and an alliance of Arab states rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan under which Jerusalem was to be a corpus separatum, instead invading former Palestinian Mandate territory, and by the armistice in 1949 was in control of the Old City and East Jerusalem (excluding Mount Scopus). The Arab invading armies failed to take control over the rest of Israel, including West Jerusalem. The city was then divided along the 1949 Armistice Line. East Jerusalem was annexed to Jordan in 1950. The city remained divided until the Six-Day War in 1967.[8]

As part of the Jordanian campaign, on June 5, 1967, the Jordanian Army began shelling Israel.[9] When the Israeli cabinet convened to decide how to respond, Yigal Allon and Menahem Begin argued that this was an opportunity to take the Old City of Jerusalem, but Eshkol decided to defer any decision until Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin could be consulted.[10] During the late afternoon of June 5, the Israelis launched an offensive to encircle Jerusalem, which lasted into the following day. On June 7, heavy fighting ensued. Dayan had ordered his troops not to enter the Old City; however, upon hearing that the UN was about to declare a ceasefire, he changed his mind, and without cabinet clearance, decided to capture it.[10]

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Yitzhak Rabin in the entrance to the old city of Jerusalem during the Six Day War, with Moshe Dayan and Uzi Narkiss.

De facto annexation

On 27 June 1967, Israel expanded the municipal boundaries of West Jerusalem so as to include approximately 70 km2 (27.0 sq mi) of West Bank territory today referred to as East Jerusalem, which included Jordanian East Jerusalem ( 6 km2 (2.3 sq mi) ) and 28 villages and areas of the Bethlehem and Beit Jala municipalities 64 km2 (25 sq mi).[11][12][13] The government passed legal measures following the occupation to cement the annexation.[14]

Although it was claimed that the application of the Israeli law to East Jerusalem was not annexation,[15] this position was rejected by the Israeli Supreme Court. In a 1970 majority ruling, Justice Y. Kahan expressed the opinion ". . . As far as I am concerned, there is no need for any certificate from the Foreign Minister or from any administrative authority to determine that East Jerusalem. . . was annexed to the State of Israel and constitutes part of its territory. . . by means of these two enactments and consequently this area constitutes part of the territory of Israel."[16]

On 30 July 1980, the Knesset officially approved the Jerusalem Law, which called the city the complete and united capital.[17]


Under Jordanian rule no Jews were permitted to live in the city, which was governed as part of the Jordanian rule West Bank, and the Christian population plummeted, falling from 25,000 to 9,000.[18]

Freedom of worship by members of all faiths was restored immediately following reunification. The narrow, approximately 120 square metres (1,300 sq ft) pre-1948 alley along the wall used informally for Jewish prayer was enlarged to 2,400 square metres (26,000 sq ft), with the entire Western Wall Plaza covering 20,000 square metres (4.9 acres).[19] The Mugrabi Quarter was bulldozed in order to expand the plaza. In later years, synagogues demolished during the Jordanian rule, including the Hurva Synagogue were rebuilt.[20]

Under the direction of Nahman Avigad, the city's Jewish Quarter, which had largely lain in rubble, was carefully excavated before being rebuilt.[21][22] The complete rebuilding of the city's historic Jewish Quarter offered a virtually blank slate for city planners.[23][24] The reunification is celebrated by the annual Jerusalem Day, and Israeli national holiday. Special celebrations in 2017 to marked the Jubilee of the 1967 reunification.[25]

International reaction

General Assembly Resolutions 2253[26] and 2254[27] of July 4 and 14, 1967, respectively, considered Israeli activity in Eastern Jerusalem illegal and asked Israel to cancel those activities and especially not to change the features of the city.[28] On 21 May 1968, United Nations Security Council Resolution 252 invalidated legal and administrative measures by Israel in violation of UNGA Resolutions 2253 and 2254 and required those measures be rescinded.[29]

UN criticism since 1967 includes UNSC resolutions in addition to 252, 267 (1969) , 298 (1971) and resolution 476 (1980), regretting changes in the characteristics of Jerusalem, and resolution 478 (1980), where UN Member States were asked to withdraw their embassies from the city.[30] Resolution 478 also "condemned in "the strongest terms" the enactment of Israeli law proclaiming a change in status of Jerusalem." while Resolution 2334 of 2016 condemned all Israeli settlements in occupied territory including East Jerusalem.[31]

See also


  1. ^ "Both states treated the respective sectors of Jerusalem under their effective control as forming an integral part of their state territory between 1948 and 1967, and each recognized the other's de facto control in their respective sectors by the signature of the 1949 Jordan-Israel General Armistice Agreement."[6]


  1. ^ Efrat, Elisha; Noble, Allen G. (1988-11-01). "Problems of reunified Jerusalem". Cities. 5 (4): 326–332. doi:10.1016/0264-2751(88)90022-4. ISSN 0264-2751.
  2. ^ Romann, M. (1978-11-01). "Jerusalem since 1967: A profile of a reunited city". GeoJournal. 2 (6): 499–506. doi:10.1007/BF00208589. ISSN 1572-9893. S2CID 153456123.
  3. ^ Kershner, Isabel (2017-06-25). "50 Years After War, East Jerusalem Palestinians Confront a Life Divided". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  4. ^ The Legal Status of East Jerusalem (PDF) (Report). Norwegian Refugee Council. 2013. p. 9. Immediately after the 1967 War the Government of Israel unilaterally annexed about 70,500 dunams (approximately 17,400 acres) of the Jordanian Jerusalem and West Bank land to the municipal boundaries of West Jerusalem. In addition to the areas of Jerusalem that had previously been controlled by Jordan (approximately 6,500 dunams), the annexed lands included an additional 64,000 dunams, most of which belonged to 28 Palestinian villages in the West Bank; the remaining annexed lands were within the municipal boundaries of Bethlehem and Beit Jala. With this annexation, the total area of Jerusalem tripled, making Jerusalem Israel's largest city, in both territory and population. This annexed territory is known today as "East Jerusalem".
  5. ^ Hasson, Shlomo (2000). "A Master Plan for Jerusalem: Stage One – the Survey". In Maʻoz, Moshe; Nusseibeh, Sari (eds.). Jerusalem: Points Beyond Friction, and Beyond. Kluwer Law International. pp. 15–24. ISBN 978-90-411-8843-4. OCLC 43481699. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  6. ^ Korman, Sharon (1996). The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice. Oxford University Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-19-158380-3. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 30 July 1980. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  8. ^ Israeli, Raphael (2014-05-22). Jerusalem Divided: The Armistice Regime, 1947-1967. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-28854-9.
  9. ^ "On June 5, Israel sent a message to Hussein urging him not to open fire. Despite shelling into West Jerusalem, Netanya, and the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel did nothing." The Six Day War and Its Enduring Legacy. Summary of remarks by Michael Oren at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, May 29, 2002.
  10. ^ a b Shlaim (2000). The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. pp. 244
  11. ^ Holzman-Gazit, Yifat (2016). Land Expropriation in Israel: Law, Culture and Society. Routledge. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-317-10836-8. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  12. ^ Schmidt, Yvonne (2008). Foundations of Civil and Political Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories. GRIN Verlag. p. 340. ISBN 978-3-638-94450-2. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  13. ^ "13 Law and Administration Ordinance -Amendment No".
  14. ^ The Legal Status of East Jerusalem (PDF) (Report). Norwegian Refugee Council. 2013. p. 8. On 27 June 1967, the Knesset adopted an amendment to the Law and Administration Ordinance, stipulating in Article 11b that "the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State shall apply to all the area of the Land of Israel which the government has determined by Order". 17 On the next day, 28 June 1967, the Israeli government instituted the Law and Administration Order, which applied the "law, jurisdiction and administration of the State" to East Jerusalem.The Knesset then authorised the Minister of the Interior to extend the boundaries of any municipality to include any area designated by government order. Accordingly, the Minister of the Interior expanded the borders of what had been West Jerusalem to include the recently occupied sector of the West Bank mentioned above. Israel then, by proclamation under the Municipalities Ordinance stipulated that the annexed territory was included within the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality.
  15. ^ Lustick, Ian (1997). "Has Israel Annexed East Jerusalem?". Middle East Policy. 5 (1): 34–45. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.1997.tb00247.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  16. ^ Ofra Friesel (May 2016). "Israel's 1967 Governmental Debate about the Annexation of East Jerusalem: The Nascent Alliance with the United States, Overshadowed by "United Jerusalem"". Law and History Review. 34 (2): 363–391. doi:10.1017/S0738248016000031. S2CID 146933736.
  17. ^ Knesset website, Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel
  18. ^ Kollek, Teddy. "Jerusalem: Present and Future." Foreign Affairs 59, no. 5 (1981): 1041-049. doi:10.2307/20040902.
  19. ^ Ricca, Simone (Summer 2005). "Heritage, Nationalism and the Shifting Symbolism of the Wailing Wall; June 1967: Erasing The Past". Institute of Jerusalem (Palestine) Studies.
  20. ^ In the Holy Land, a Rebuilding for the Generations, The Wall Street Journal Online, March 10, 2010
  21. ^ Meyers, Eric M. "Nahman Avigad (1905-1992)." Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 58 (1992): 1-5.
  22. ^ Azaryahu, Maoz, and Arnon Golan. "Photography, Memory and Ethnic Cleansing: The Fate of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, 1948—John Phillips' Pictorial Record." Israel Studies 17, no. 2 (2012): 62-76. doi:10.2979/israelstudies.17.2.62.
  23. ^ Efrat, Elisha, and Allen G. Noble. "Planning Jerusalem." Geographical Review 78, no. 4 (1988): 387-404. doi:10.2307/215090.
  24. ^ Kailani, Wasfi. Middle Eastern Studies 44, no. 4 (2008): 633-37.
  25. ^ "PM announces extra NIS 850 million for Jerusalem". Times of Israel. JTA. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  26. ^ "A/RES/2253(ES-V) - E - A/RES/2253(ES-V) -Desktop".
  27. ^ "A/RES/2254(ES-V) - E - A/RES/2254(ES-V) -Desktop".
  28. ^ "UN resolutions on Jerusalem".
  29. ^ Database, E. C. F. "United Nations Security Council Resolution 252 (1968)".
  30. ^ Marshall J. Breger (2014). "Chapter 9:Jerusalem's Holy Sites in Israeli Law". In Silvio Ferrari, Dr Andrea Benzo (ed.). Between Cultural Diversity and Common Heritage: Legal and Religious Perspectives on the Sacred Places of the Mediterranean. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781472426031.
  31. ^ "UN resolutions on Jerusalem: Fifty years of futility".