For centuries, Jerusalem has been the political, administrative and spiritual heart of Palestine. Metropolitan East Jerusalem – an area extending from Ramallah to Bethlehem – has for long been the driving force of our economy. In fact, nearly one-third of our economic activity is centered around East Jerusalem. Given East Jerusalem’s economic, cultural, social and religious importance, without East Jerusalem, there can be no viable Palestinian state.
Though central to three faiths, Israel has since 1967 systematically pursued policies aimed at ensuring exclusive control over the city with disregard to the rights of the indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinian populations. In so doing, Israel unilaterally is taking control of East Jerusalem, the future capital of our state, thereby putting at risk the possibility of a two-state solution.