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"Race Law" Takes Jerusalem a Step Closer to Being a Jewish-Only City

By       Message Ramzy Baroud       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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From Palestine Chronicle

From flickr.com: Dome of the Rock & Western Wall {MID-222042}
Dome of the Rock & Western Wall
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The Israeli government is planning a series of measures aimed at fully denying Palestinians their legal rights in Jerusalem and precluding any future peace settlement based on sharing the city between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

One of the most aggressive measures to date is a bill that was approved by the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday, January 2.

The bill, which passed with the support of Israel's ruling rightwing and far-right coalition has several dangerous stipulations.

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According to the bill, two thirds of the Knesset majority is required for Israel to relinquish sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem. International law insists that Israel has no sovereignty over East Jerusalem, illegally occupied and annexed in 1967 and 1980 respectively.

An equally disturbing stipulation in the bill is that it removes two Palestinian neighborhoods from the municipal jurisdiction of the city.

The two affected neighborhoods are Kufr Aqab and the Shufat refugee camp.

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By doing so, the Israeli government would have achieved another milestone in its demographic war on Palestinians.

It is important to note that the two Palestinian areas are located on the other side of what Israel refers to as the "Separation Wall."

This move confirms the assumption that the Wall was built around Palestinians areas that Israel plans to annex in the future.

Now, that the wall construction is at an advanced stage, the process of annexation seems to have begun.

But the latest bill -- dubbed by Palestinians as the "race law" for it aims at vacating Jerusalem from Palestinian Arabs and increasing the number of the city's Jewish settlers -- is a rewritten version of an earlier bill.

"The Greater Jerusalem Law," which was poised to win a majority vote at the Knesset was only shelved temporarily.

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The delayed bill called for expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include major illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including Ma'aleh Adumim and the Gush Etzion settlement cluster.

Moreover, it endeavored to bring 150,000 Jewish settlers into Jerusalem as eligible voters, who would naturally tip the political scene more to the right.

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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)

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