Jerusalem24 – This June marks 55 years since the start of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories (ie, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip) and Syrian Golan Heights, a protracted occupation that has been carried out in the context of, and serves to entrench, Israel’s settler colonization of and apartheid against Palestine and Palestinians.
In this special episode of Wake up Palestine, which is a one of a series on Vibes and Wake up Palestine dubbed “55 Years On” to mark the 55th anniversary since Al Naksa, we examine the demographic changes that have unfolded in the holy city over the past five and a half decades. Joining us is Rami Saleh, Director of the Jerusalem branch of the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center.
“For us as Palestinians, the authorities are looking to control the East side of Jerusalem that was occupied in 1967, they are looking to solidify their sovereignty over this area,” says Saleh.
Saleh explains that the occupation have a number of tools they use to implement demographic changes in the city, one of which is refusing building permits to the Palestinians who desperately need them.
Saleh tells us about report produced by the Jerusalem municipality which says Palestinians need around 1,500 new housing units per year in East Jerusalem. The same report reveals that over the past five years, Palestinians have applied for 285 building permits, with only 125 being approved by the Israeli authorities.
Listen to the full interview below on this episode of Wake Up Palestine.