Barrier Draws Palestinians Into Jerusalem

Wary of being cut off, thousands are moving into East Jerusalem
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2007 5:39 PM CDT
Barrier Draws Palestinians Into Jerusalem
A Palestinian youth stands next to the Israel's separation barrier, in the West Bank refugee camp of Shoafat, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Monday June 4, 2007. Amnesty International marked 40 years since the outbreak of the 1967 Middle East war on Monday with a call for Israel to dismantle West Bank...   (Associated Press)

Since the wall between the West Bank and Jerusalem started going up, thousands of Palestinians have moved from the former into the latter, anxious to make  sure they are not cut off from the Israeli city when the barrier is complete. Dismayed by the deteriorating conditions in the West Bank, many are erecting houses little better than sheds in overcrowded Arab  neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

They are coming back both for nationalistic reasons and for pragmatic ones, the LA Times reports: Israel provides jobs, healthcare, and social security to Jerusalem residents, and Palestinians have a legal right to live in the city. The migration is part of a larger trend that has seen the Palestinian population grow to more than a third of Jerusalem's total. (More Israel stories.)

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