Conflict Amongst Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Conflict Resolution Methods

Ghada Suleiman Mousa Aruri
غادة سليمان موسى عاروري
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Al-Quds University
East Jerusalem (EJ) fell under Israeli occupation in June 1967, and Israel annexed the city from that date, imposing Israeli law and sovereignty on the overwhelmingly Palestinian city. Israel’s annexation of the city became an officially declared policy in 1980, winning Israel the condemnation of the international community- mainly through refraining from moving their embassies to Jerusalem or opening any embassies in the city. This gesture of moving embassies, small as it is, serves to confirm the international stand that the city is illegally occupied and echoes calls that reject annexation and call for ending the occupation. Until 2019, there is no sign of the Israeli occupation going away or being removed. The occupation continues unabated and forceful, usurping Palestinian land and property every day, and squeezing Palestinians out of the city. Disappointingly to this date Israel pursues policies that disregard Palestinian human rights, national rights and even its (Israel’s) own commitment to international treaties. Against the backdrop of severe human rights violations, over 300,000 Palestinians continue to live in East Jerusalem under Israel’s sovereignty, dealing with occupation policies on the one hand, and, having the peacefulness and tranquility of their own society challenged every day by pressures imposed by this occupation. Even after fifty-two years of occupation, Israel is still seen as the foreign colonial occupier that Palestinians distrust and are reluctant to go to its institutions, particularly the police. Israel bans any activity by the Palestinian Authority, and is unfavourable to civil society, leaving a vacuum that Palestinian East Jerusalemites have not managed to overcome. Given that societal conflicts and disputes are normal and certain levels of them are even beneficial, it is the duration and solvability of these conflicts that can be a distinguishing factor in EJ. Jerusalem is an occupied and annexed city, this is a situation that sets it aside from any other Arab or Middle Eastern city, including other parts of the West Bank. With this in mind, types and forms that disputes and conflicts amongst Palestinians take, the dispute and conflict resolution methods available, and whether these methods are able to offer solutions are examined here. Finally, main conclusion drawn is that effective conflict and dispute prevention and resolution methods for Palestinians in EJ are not only vehicles for development and resilience (important as this is), they go beyond that to being measures of survival that help a society suffering from racism and marginalization, remain on their land.