299.1 Shifting realities: Dislocating Palestinian Jerusalemites from the capital into the edge

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 12:30 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Nura ALKHALILI , Independent researcher, Ramallah, Palestine
Muna DAJANI , Independent researcher, Jerusalem, Palestine
Daniela DE LEO , , Roma, Italy
The idea of the right to the city expresses a new political point of view regarding citizenship and residence (Khamaisi, 2007). According to Lefebvre (1996), the construction of citizenship is based on space inhabitance. Lefebvre underlines the importance of space since it plays a key role in localizing citizenship. As Purcell asserts, this concept empowers urban inhabitants and argues that the urban citizenship is not an accident of nationality, yet it is through utilizing space and time and interacting within a social fabric (Purcell, 2002:102).

In the light of an Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem[1], a geo-political reality was imposed on the Palestinian inhabitants, where land appropriation, laws and legislations, the segregation wall and confinement of Palestinians into fragmented ghettos were all leading drivers in changing the boundaries of Jerusalem as a whole and altering the Palestinian social fabric present there. This entails weakening Palestinian inhabitants’ status to mere permanent residents rather than citizens (OCHA, 2011), contradicting Lefebvre’s concept, in which he argues the rights of the citizen as an urban dweller and user of multiple services (Lefebvre, 1996).

Within the session, we would like to propose a case study dealing with the unequal urban dilemmas in East Jerusalem by deeply examining the case of KufrAqab, a neighborhood which currently is administrated by the municipality of Jerusalem yet residents lack basic civil rights.  Nevertheless, this neighborhood is aggressively dislocated physically by the segregation wall from the rest of East Jerusalem. We seek to put forward a specific question:  is KufrAqab phenomenon asserting the right to the city or is part of a mechanism of systematic displacement and isolation?

[1] In 1967 Israel occupied East Jerusalem which was under Jordanian rule and annexed it to West Jerusalem which was under Israeli rule. The Palestinian population by end of 2007 is 256,820.