Briefing Paper

Mick Dumper and Wendy Pullan
  • Despite the lack of progress in negotiations over the future of Jerusalem, the situation on the ground is not static. Dynamic developments are creating grave new realities which risk becoming irreversible.
  • The settler-driven entrenchment of the Israeli government in East Jerusalem is reaching the point at which a peaceful division of the city between Israel and a future Palestinian state may no longer be possible.
  • Current Israeli policies of segregation and exclusivity are leading to the 'warehousing' of Palestinian residents of the city and the abandonment of neighbourhoods. Further restrictions on housing, employment, residency rights and mobility are also causing the gradual expulsion of Palestinians.
  • The prospects of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem are receding while any withdrawal by the Israeli state would entail grave political risks for the Israeli polity.
  • The cost of failure in Jerusalem is high. In addition to the resulting insecurity on both sides of the city and among the wider communities, further decline could ruin international efforts to revive peace negotiations.