Is Shufat in “Occupied East Jerusalem?”

I know it is only a minor footnote to the dangerous events going on in Israel and the West Bank right now, but I was curious about Shufat, home of Mohammed Abu Khdair, the Palestinian teenager killed this week.

Shufat is often described this way:

(Mohyeldin is a foreign correspondent for NBC News)

Or sometimes this way:

Shufat is part of Jerusalem as defined by Israel. After the 1967 War, Israel greatly expanded the borders of eastern Jerusalem, the area it had just captured from Jordan. Under Jordan, (East) Jerusalem was 6.5 sq km. Israel added another 64.4 sq km from the West Bank, including Shufat.

But given that most of the world, including the Palestinian national movement, rejects Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem (or non-annexation according to Ian Lustick – PDF version), on what basis is Shufat part of occupied East Jerusalem as opposed to being identified as part of the occupied West Bank?

When Jordan controlled Shufat from the armistice after the 1948 war until the June 1967 war, Shufat was outside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem.

The wording of UNGA Resolution 194 (December 11, 1948) also makes clear that Shufat is not part of the city of Jerusalem:

8. Resolves that, in view of its association with three world religions, the Jerusalem area, including the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern, Shu’fat, should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control;

Here Shufat – like Abu Dis, Bethlehem, and Ein Karim – is a marker of “the surrounding villages and towns” not part of “the present municipality of Jerusalem.”

@leenbarghouti suggested it was part of the Jerusalem governate both before and after 1948. Can anyone shed light on the idea of a Jerusalem governate either before or after 1967? Would that have been like a regional zone or country?

Is there a deeper history to Shufat as part of the city of Jerusalem that goes beyond Israel’s post-1967 action?

I welcome your input.





2 thoughts on “Is Shufat in “Occupied East Jerusalem?”

  1. The Hebrew Wikipedia discusses in some depth the history of Jerusalem city council, first established by the Ottoman rulers in 1867, but does not disclose whethere there were defined municipal borders and what would those have been.

    The British divided Mandatory Palestine into several districts, a division which changed several times.

    In the periode of the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria (1948-1967) the area along with the Eastern parts of Jerusalem were annexed by Jordan, a move unrecognized by anyone except Pakistan and the UK. Jordan has since withdrawn its claim to the area and stripped the Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria (and Jerusalem) of the Jordanian citizenship it originally granted them.

    UN resolutions from 1948 are not very relevant today for a multitude of reasons. Changed municipal boundaries and urban sprawl are just another reason.

    There is a difference between the Shufat (or Shuafat) neighbourhood and the Shufat “refugee camp”. The neighbourhood was a long-standing village that became a well-to-do neighbourhood of Jerusalem during the Jordanian occupation (an unfinished palace of King Hussein is still standing there – The “refugee camp” was established in 1965-66 and was populated by Arabs originally resettled by the Jordanians in the ruins of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. These Arabs resisted their removal from the Old City and were moved there by force.

  2. I think this this might be a case of expanding city boundaries. It’s pretty common that big cities swallow up surrounding towns into a larger conurbation. Driving though the city there’s no marked gap between Jerusalem and Shu’afat, so I don’t know how relevant the 1948 or 1967 definitions would be.

    Israel treats all of these areas (the “governate”) as part of an area called the “wrapping” of Jerusalem (עוטף ירושלים) – a section of the West Bank.

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