A Heavy Shadow: Neighborhoods on Jerusalem’s Seamline during the Swords of Iron War
Main A Heavy Shadow: Neighborhoods on Jerusalem’s Seamline during the Swords of Iron War
Two months into the Swords of Iron War (which broke out on October 7, 2023), it appears that despite tensions and explosiveness, the situation in Jerusalem has remained relatively stable. On the face of it, the state of security in the city has not deteriorated substantially relative to the other fronts in the south, the north, and the West Bank. Beneath the surface, however, there are fundamental problems that have worsened during the war and additional ones that erupted during the state of emergency.
Publication Date: December 12, 2023
Writers: Dr. Marik Shtern
The East and West Jerusalem neighborhoods along Jerusalem’s seamline are areas of heightened sensitivity at this time. The northern, eastern, and southern parts of Jerusalem contain a dense mosaic of Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods that share a crowded and partially contiguous tapestry of built-up land. In normal times, these neighborhoods maintain trade and consumer relations, and the seamline between them is generally quiet (even if tense). However, the massacre in the Gaza Envelope area and the war raging in the south have given rise to a new reality along Jerusalem’s seamline, a reality that includes higher-than-ever levels of fear, anxiety, and mistrust, and a growing preference for separation and segregation.
This review, prepared in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Israel, surveys the situation in neighborhoods along Jerusalem’s seamline in the aftermath of the events of October 7, drawing on two case studies: (1) Relations between Pisgat Ze’ev and the adjacent neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and the Shu’afat Refugee Camp; (2) Relations between East Talpiot and the adjacent neighborhoods of Sur Baher and Jabal Mukaber.
The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research investigates the social, economic, and demographic reality in Jerusalem within its municipal borders to improve the quality of life of all of the city’s residents from all sectors. The neighborhoods’ borders in the city, which constitute the socio-sectoral border between the populations, are, at this time, tense spaces. This review raises the voices of the city’s residents from both sectors and raises questions about feelings of security, shared spaces, and concerns about the current situation in Jerusalem.
The review is based on a series of interviews we conducted with residents and social activists in the various neighborhoods, as well as a survey of the local press and material from social media networks. The review describes the progression of events in the Jewish neighborhoods and the manner in which these events were perceived by residents on either side of the seamline, as well as their impact on the state of affairs in the adjacent Arab neighborhoods.
Photo Credit: Aviv Rave