Holy Land Grab: The Battle for Jerusalem | Rewind

Jerusalem has been fought over, dreamt about and worshipped in for hundreds of years.

It is a holy city to all three major Abrahamic religions. Jews, Muslims and Christians have coexisted within its walls for centuries, but it is only the Jews who lay claim to it as their exclusive capital.

This position has been given added force since President Donald Trump came into power in the United States, and in the face of international law recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as well as announcing the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In recent decades, Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, have been springing up in occupied East Jerusalem, which was previously recognised as Palestinian.

It is a process that has been developing for many decades, but in 2009, Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland went to the front line of what can only be described as a battle for the right to live in a city that is the beating heart of the holy land.

“We are holding on by our fingernails to the two-state solution. Today it is still barely possible to edge out a political boundary in Jerusalem which will be both acceptable to the parties and viable after the agreement is reached.” Danny Seidemann, a lawyer with the non-profit Ir Amim, told Al Jazeera. “We are very close to losing that. If current trends continue for another six months, a year or two years, this all will be lost.”

Ten years on, Rewind speaks to Al Jazeera’s Awad Joumaa who recently made a film about what it is like to live in Jerusalem.

“Sadly, as many Palestinians and even Israelis probably will tell you, the situation in the city of Jerusalem has only gotten worse. The wall that started at that time is now almost complete. Jerusalem is separated from its nearby West Bank, a strategic depth hinterland, so to speak. There’s more and more encroachment on the Old City in Jerusalem and as one of the characters [in my film] would say it’s almost game over for Jerusalem,” Joumaa says.

“Many Palestinians who I met … say our lives have become almost impossible in Jerusalem. You will find more and more Jerusalemites are leaving the city to live in the suburbs of Jerusalem. And you’ll find less and less Palestinians in the city, which is many of the Israeli settler organisations’ dream.”

Joumaa says that these settler organisations are “not something on the fringes of Israeli politics. It is the most powerful political movement in Israel. And not only that, they have powerful friends in the US. So sadly, in many ways the Palestinians are in a tight spot.”

He says Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has left many Palestinians and Arab countries demoralised.

“Many Arab countries believe that the United States is the friend of the Arab world, but the people you meet in Jerusalem will tell you otherwise,” says Joumaa. “They don’t see any hope.”

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22 thoughts on “Holy Land Grab: The Battle for Jerusalem | Rewind

  1. The theft/deception is based on the Zionist-Cabal perpetrating a fraud that Palestine is their Ancestry Homeland and they are the Israelites/12 tribes/chosen people that were invaded by the Romans fleeing the land than enslaved is not true. The true Israelites/melanated (black)
    have not yet been summoned to return to their Homeland.

    The white Zionist-Cabal are converts from Europe not the middle east…This is not their Ancestry Land.

  2. The thief screams that he has been stolen….
    We're waiting for the right time.
    No matter how powerful they are, when the time comes, they cannot flee.

  3. We want to read the translation what the Imam talking about. But we can't. Please can you delete the useless sentences which cover the translation?
    Thanks a lot.

  4. I hope and pray that Turkey will liberate Palestine from these invading Europeans who apparently lived here in ancient history. Nonsense

  5. Highly one sided view. Who attacked Israel in first place when international community recognized its existence in 1948. Who attacked it in 1960's. 5 Arab nations got defeated left right and center.
    Have some shame Aljareera. You are big disgrace to journalism for showing one side of story

  6. Long live palestine. Love frm india🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳♥️🇸🇩🇸🇩🇸🇩🇸🇩

  7. Respect oll europian israel protect israeli land ,israel is land europian race ashkenaze domination not african blac azian arab

  8. So he applies for a house permit, pays money, gets rejected, and then still goes ahead and builds the house. Why is he cribbing that it's been taken down? If an American wants to build a house in times square and the request is still rejected, should he still build the house and cry when he's asked to demolish it?

  9. Historically, Holy land belongs to the Israelites. Now that the landowners have returned, the tenants are gracefully made to leave.

  10. Remaver this is the higher power of the Lord's and it is the Lord's foot stool in Al this matter and the higher power of the gaxkey

  11. The costs of the Curt's office is the higher power of the shower power of the Gods of the gaxkey and the higher power of the Lord's gaven you just on the fioot stools of omagas

  12. Please read the history when Islam took over any country they destroy and killed and convert many good churches into mosque and Jewish temple destroyed

  13. I’m glad the Jews took their land from the Muslim occupation and the Muslim mosques build next to churches were built over Jewish temples and Mohamed never made it to Palestine it is fake Islamic news

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