Attempted annexation of Jerusalem rejected as invalid

CEPR – Israel seized East Jerusalem during the 1967 war, in which it completed its occupation of all Palestinian land. Israel unilaterally expanded the boundaries of Jerusalem by annexing [via passing a domestic law] some 70 sq kms to the municipal boundaries of the West Bank area and evicting over 6,000 Palestinians from the Old City’s Mughrabi Quarter in order to create a plaza in front of Al-Buraq (the Western Wall).  Israel then declared Jerusalem its capital. [Jerusalem was not claimed or designated its capital when Israel declared independence. – ed]

East Jerusalem was annexed shortly after the war in a move that has not been recognised by the international community or the Palestinians.

The 1949 Armistice Agreement – Jerusalem was divided between Israel in the West and the Jordanian East Jerusalem. The 1950 Israeli Absentee Property Law transferred all property considered ‘abandoned’ during the war, to the Israeli state. In the late 1980s a number of properties in Sheikh Jarrah and the Muslim Quarter in the Old City were turned over to the Custodian for Absentee Property, and then to a Jewish settler organisation.

UN General Assembly resolution 2253 (1967) ordered Israel “to desist forthwith from taking any action which would alter the status of Jerusalem. However Israel, in the first three years of occupation, confiscated 18270 dunums (18,27 sq kms) of Palestinian land and by 1991 that number had reached 23378 dunums (23,4 sq kms).–

The United Nations Security Council outright rejected Israel’s unilateral purported annexation in S/RES/252 (1968)
21 May 1968

Resolution 252 (1968)
of 21 May 1968

The Security Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967 and 2254 (ES-V) of 14 July 1967,

Having considered the letter of the Permanent Representative of Jordan on the situation in Jerusalem (S/8560)1/ and the report of the Secretary-General (S/8146),2/

Having heard the statements made before the Council,

Noting that since the adoption of the above-mentioned resolutions Israel has taken further measures and actions in contravention of those resolutions,

Bearing in mind the need to work for a just and lasting peace,

Reaffirming that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible,

1. Deplores the failure of Israel to comply with the General Assembly resolutions mentioned above;

2. Considers that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, including expropriation of land and properties thereon, which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid and cannot change that status;

3. Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind all such measures already taken and to desist forthwith from taking any further action which tends to change the status of Jerusalem;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted at the 1426th meeting by 13 votes to none, with
2 abstentions (Canada and United States of America)

1/ Ibid.
2/ Ibid., Twenty-second year, Supplement for July, August and September 1967.

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