The Unexpected Reason Israel Is Improving Conditions for Jerusalem Palestinians

The Israeli establishment’s attitude toward East Jerusalem has transformed in recent years, as seen in investment in infrastructure and other improvements. Who is behind this process?

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The new American Road connecting Jerusalem’s southeastern neighborhoods with transportation infrastructure.
The new American Road connecting Jerusalem’s southeastern neighborhoods with transportation infrastructure.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

I started writing this article at the beginning of May. It was meant to be published in conjunction with Jerusalem Day and to describe the change that has taken place in relations between Jerusalem’s 360,000 Palestinian residents and the Israeli authorities. Some might describe it as a “honeymoon.” In the southern part of the city, a first, wide highway – aka the “American Road” – was built for the use of the Palestinian communities, in the north, a new master plan was approved for the village of Isawiyah, new schools are being built in the other neighborhoods, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is teeming with Palestinian students, and the sanitation situation has improved compared to what it was a few years ago.

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