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Jerusalem: Israel Adopts Plan to "Strengthen" Jerusalem

(June 21, 1998)

On June 21, 1998, the Israeli Cabinet adopted a plan to strengthen Jerusalem and ensure its unity while countering the PLO's effort to divide the city. The decision is entirely consistent with the peace process and in no way violates the Oslo Accords, changes the status quo of the West Bank or the status of the Palestinians in the city or territories.

This plan is dedicated entirely to maintaining the demographic balance in Jerusalem between Arabs and Jews to ensure a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital, improve municipal services within the Jerusalem metropolitan area and boost the city's economy. Nothing in this decision will adversely affect the Arab population of Jerusalem, which is rapidly increasing while the Jewish population is declining.

More specifically, the plan aims to:

  • Strengthen Jerusalem and ensure its unity and counter PLO efforts to divide it.
  • Improve municipal services within the Jerusalem metropolitan area.
  • Boost the city's economy.
  • Promote high-tech business and academic studies in Jerusalem.
  • Help reduce the gap between housing prices in Jerusalem and other cities.
  • Improve the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train system.
  • Create a comprehensive public transportation system in the city.
  • Plan additional improvements in the Jerusalem infrastructure.
  • Maintain a demographic balance between Arabs and Jews.
  • Improve the quality of life for Jerusalem residents, Arabs and Jews alike.
  • Expands Jerusalem's municipal jurisdiction only to the west covering Jewish towns within pre-1967 Israel.

The plan does not:

  • Impact the peace process
  • Violate Oslo's ban on changing the status of the West Bank
  • Involve annexation of West Bank land
  • Change the status of any settlements or political status of the area

Under this plan, Israel will not be violating any agreements with the Palestinians. Oslo does not restrict Israel's activities within Jerusalem and nothing in this decision will adversely affect the lives of the city's Arab population.

Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs