Ramallah: The Palestinian Shuafat Refugee Camp, in Occupied East Jerusalem, and the town of Kofr Aqab, in the north of the city, will no longer be considered as falling within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, Israeli security sources told Jewish Channel 10 on Sunday.
The announcement confirms long-held Palestinian suspicions of a systematic Israeli plan to ensure a Jewish majority in the holy city.
The move has been finalised by the Israeli National Security Council and will be implemented to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Jewish occupation of the holy city.
According to Fakhri Abu Diyab, who heads the local committee in defense of occupied Jerusalem, taking Shuafat camp and Kofr Aqab out of the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem will mean the Palestinians’ blue Jerusalem identity cards will be replaced with green West Bank cards.
He said Israel planned to set up a local council outside Jerusalem boundaries to run the two areas while reserving sole security control there.
A total of 140,000 Palestinians live in the two areas — 75,000 at Shuafat and 65,000 in Kofr Aqab.
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Muneer Zughair, leader of the Jerusalem neighborhoods’ committee, said residents of Shufat Refugee Camp and Kofr Aqab town were already suffering from a poor of municipal services and facilities, and from frequent water shortages.
Residents Kofr Aqab had sued the occupation municipality several times for failing to provide municipal services despite paying taxes to the Israeli government.
Israel captured and annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast Six-Day War.
Israel wants a united Jerusalem as its eternal capital, and has been forcibly displacing Palestinians to take over the holy city entirely.
Palestinians see occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future Palestinian state.