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Jerusalem: a city of two capitals?

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Jerusalem: a city of two capitals?

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Senior Israeli politicians are warning the EU to stop meddling in Jerusalem’s future status.

The EU will consider proposals early next week on whether to recognise Palestinian claims to the east of the city. The spokesperson for Jerusalem’s right-wing mayor Nir Barkat, has condemned the EU draft paper. Stephan Miller, aide to the Mayor of Jerusalem said: “Jerusalem is the Jewish capital. Jerusalem is exclusively claimed as the capital of the Jewish people. And Jerusalem must remain united not just for the ideology but for the practicality of managing the single most important city in the world. I’ll tell you, you know there is not one example in the history of the world of a split city that works.” The city, particularly the heavily populated Arab eastern districts, have seen large-scale building by Israeli settlers in recent years. The demographic change has been a recurrent problem to restarting peace talks. Sheik Jarrah is a typical neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. Many Palestinian families here have been forced to leave their homes after being evicted by Israeli authorities and radical Jewish settlers. “I stay here in the street — they want to finish with the families from this area and they want to destroy this area to build 250 apartments for the settlers,” said Palestinian resident Nasser Ghawe. 57 Palestinians have so far been kicked off this plot of land with six other families facing the same fate. Earlier this week a house extension built by Nabil Al Kurd was possessed by Jewish settlers after they threw out his furniture. “We are here and they will not transfer us from our land. We will fight to make this the capital of Palestine. We will not go outside of Jerusalem. We will die in Jerusalem,” said Nabil Al Kurd an Arab resident in Sheik Jarrah. However, Jewish settlers remain in the driving seat having won a property rights battle in the Israeli courts. A move that has been condemned by the UN.