24. Develop a Strategy for Addressing Palestinian Zoning and Planning, and Halt Evictions in East Jerusalem (Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and Walajeh)

The East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan have become flashpoints between Israelis and Palestinians due to hundreds of standing eviction orders against Palestinian residents. Tensions over Sheikh Jarrah were one of the sparks for Hamas rockets in May 2021 and Israel’s Operation Guardian of the Walls. The dispute is a legal one over ownership of properties that belonged to Jewish residents before 1948 and that Jewish groups are now seeking to recover, but there are political and security implications that follow from any legal resolution. Israel should suspend all evictions in these neighborhoods, as well as in other ones that suffer from the same problem such as Walajeh, and continue working to craft an agreement between the two sides that respects the legal process while allowing Palestinian residents to remain in homes in which they have lived for decades. This should be done within a more comprehensive effort to address Palestinian zoning and planning in East Jerusalem.