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What’s happening in Jerusalem?

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

What’s happening in Jerusalem?


Tensions have been building up in Jerusalem since the start of Ramzan in mid-April between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

  • Recently, Israeli armed forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem.
  • In retaliation, Hamas, the Islamist militant group that runs Gaza, fired dozens of rockets.

Why Jerusalem?

  • Jerusalem has been at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • According to the original 1947 UN Partition Plan, Jerusalem was proposed to be an international city.
  • But in the first Arab Israel war of 1948, the Israelis captured the western half of the city, and Jordan took the eastern part, including the Old City that houses Haram esh-Sharif.
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and the Dome of the Rock are situated within Haram esh-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
  • Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it later.

Citizenship issues:

  • Since its annexation, Israel has expanded settlements in East Jerusalem, which is now home for some 220,000 Jews. Jews born in East Jerusalem are Israeli citizens, while Palestinians in the city are given conditional residency permits.
  • Palestinians in East Jerusalem, unlike other parts of the occupied West Bank, can, however, apply for Israeli citizenship. Very few Palestinians have done so.

Root cause of the problem:

Israel sees the whole city as its “unified, eternal capital”, a claim endorsed by Donald Trump when he was U.S. President but not recognised by most other countries. Palestinian leaders across the political spectrum have maintained that they would not accept any compromise formula for a future Palestinian state unless East Jerusalem is its capital.


Prelims Link:

  1. About Jerusalem.
  2. Six day war.
  3. Israel Palestine conflict.
  4. Gaza strip.
  5. Where is Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Israel-Palestine conflict.

Sources: the Hindu.