Plan to divide Jerusalem
totheJerusalemmunicipalareaafterthe Six-Day War. Wide swathes in East Jerusalem were appropriated in the past to make way for Jewish neighbourhoods, but in recent years all public building in these areas has stopped. “For all practical purposes, Israel’s sovereignty in East Jerusalem is a joke,” says a senior government official, “and that also seems to be the premise of Turbovich’s team”.
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies collects and analyses data on Israel’s capital. Though widely regarded as politically left-leaning, it has close relations with the government. Last week a secret meeting took place between a team of the institute’s researchers and two of Mr Olmert’s closest political allies.
The meeting was called to discuss a collection of policy papers prepared by the institute, titled “Parting with the Arab Neighbourhoods of Jerusalem”, detailing the strategic, legal, social, economic and demographic ramifications of ceding the outlying areas of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority and which neighbourhoods and villages could realistically be transferred.
Vice Premier Haim Ramon’s brief is to monitor negotiations with the PalestiniansforMrOlmert,whichmakeshimMr Turbovich’s direct rival. Rafi Eitan is the Minister for Jerusalem Affairs.