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Israeli policies are aimed at cementing its unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, EU report says
Israeli policies are aimed at cementing its unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, EU report says
The Shoafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem, November 2013. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
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Gaza, ALRAY - European Union diplomats stationed in Jerusalem and Ramallah cautioned about the changing status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the growing tension triggered by right-wing Jewish groups.

“There remains a significant risk that incidents at this highly sensitive site, or perceived threats to the status quo, may spark extreme reactions locally as well as across the Arab and Muslim world, and have the potential to derail the peace negotiations,” according to the report obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.

The report points to the Israeli policies mounted against almost 100,000 East Jerusalem residents, incarnated in the building ban and lack of freedom of movement, which are all "aimed at cementing Israel's unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem,”

It warns against allocating separate times for each Muslims and Jews to access the mosque's courtyards, similar to what happened at the 'al-Haram al-Ibrahmi' -Israeli dubbed as Cave of the Patriarchs- in Hebron, which could hinder the 'peace process'.

The report says there has been an "unprecedented surge in settlements activity” since the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations resumed in July 2013. It considered that as a part of Israel’s strategy to use the settlement construction and infrastructures “to expand Jerusalem deeply into the West Bank” so that it includes the settlement blocs of Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Givat Ze’ev.

While making out 39 percent Jerusalem’s 800,000 residents, Palestinians are only allocated 10 percent of the municipal budget, the report says. 200,000 of the residents are Israelis living in East Jerusalem settlements, the report confirms.

“Around 53 percent of the Israeli-defined municipal area of East Jerusalem is unavailable for development and 35 percent has been designated for settlement use,” leaving less than 13 percent for the housing needs of Palestinians.

In 2013 'Israel' demolished 98 houses in occupied East Jerusalem; the same number of houses that were demolished in the past three years which led to the displacement of 298 people, including 153 children, it added.

The report recommends empowering Palestinians and saving the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two states; to increase supervision over the Haram Al-Sharif and Silwan and respond to the uprooting of Bedouin areas E and to demand 'Israel' to allow European citizens and diplomats to move freely between Israel and the West Bank.

It also recommends imposing restrictions on the entry of settlers involved in violence in to Europe.