In 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem and annexed it to West Jerusalem. This illegal annexation gave Israel the full power over the land in terms of spatial planning, provision of municipal services, housing policies, political arrangements and the re-drawing of the Jerusalem boundary. Henceforth, Israel systematically used spatial-demographic policies of marginalization, enclavization, and exclusion of Palestinians from the planning system in Jerusalem which led to severe housing shortage and forced the Palestinian residents into unplanned chaotic construction inside the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods and neighbourhoods around Jerusalem. Consequently, the Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem suffer from inadequate infrastructure and services, and although the residents must pay Municipal taxes “known as Arnona”, they receive inadequate municipal services for infrastructure development, education, and health. In fact, “although Palestinians constitute approximately 37% of the population in Jerusalem; the municipality does not spend more than 10% of its total budget in Palestinian areas.” Recent reports draw a bleak picture of the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem.

For instance

There is a shortage of 1,938 classrooms in East Jerusalem. Other estimates of the shortage are as high as 2,672 (Ir Amim 2016, based on CBS data as to the number of children in East Jerusalem).

43% of the existing classrooms in the official municipal education system are defined as inadequate and do not meet the requirements for attaining the rights of children and youth to “a good” education.

An alarming 75.4% of all Palestinian residents live under the poverty line, while the workforce participation rate stands at 67% for men and 14% for women aged 15 or more.

Jerusalem youth, aged between 15 and 29, are especially economically and socially marginalized, have few productive outlets, and are at risk of self-destructive behaviour.