In view of the upcoming EU-Israel Association Council scheduled for 21 February 2011 we,the undersigned Palestinian human rights organisations committed to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), would like to express our grave concerns about the continuous deterioration of the human rights situation. In particular, we are alarmed by Israel’s protracted policies aimed at entrenching the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem.
1. The Human Rights Situation in East Jerusalem
Since its de facto annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has implemented various
measures and policies in order to consolidate its territorial, demographic and political control
over the city. This includes the systematic attempt to secure a Jewish majority while
reducing any Palestinian presence in the city through a process of acquiring more land and
the introduction of the centre-of-life requirement.
The centre-of-life policy requires Palestinian residents of East-Jerusalem (whom Israel
considers as “permanent residents” rather than citizens) to consistently prove that their
“centre of life” is in East Jerusalem or else they risk losing their residency rights.1 Since this
policy was adopted, in 1995, Israel has revoked the status of over 10,000 Palestinian
residents of the city.2.. More