Living in Limbo: East Jerusalem’s Neighborhoods Behind the Separation Barrier

with Moien Odeh

Attorney at Law and Visiting Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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*A light lunch is served at 12:30 p.m. Talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.

This talk will focus on the East Jerusalem neighborhoods behind the separation barrier where approximately 120,000 Palestinians reside. In these neighborhoods, the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to work because they are part of “Jerusalem”. Although located within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, these neighborhoods receive almost no service from the Israeli Authorities, in the form of garbage disposal, functional road infrastructure, or sufficient water supply. This creates living conditions that would be unacceptable anywhere else. In other words, the Palestinian neighborhoods beyond the separation barrier present in an extreme form the broader processes that have taken place in East Jerusalem and Israel’s attitude toward the Palestinian population in the city. Israeli policy in these neighborhoods has destabilized Palestinians’ physical and symbolic linkage and belonging to their home city of Jerusalem. The separation barrier has restricted the residents’ actions and their physical, social, economic, cultural, and political existence, pushing tens of thousands of them into the neighborhoods beyond the wall, effectively displacing them from the city.

Moien Odeh is a member of Al-Shabaka-The Palestinian Policy Network and has an LLM degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is currently participating in a Leaders for Democracy Fellowship with the Department of State and is a Visiting Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for the next two months. In Jerusalem Odeh serves as a Human Security Officer at the Representative Office of Switzerland to the PA and is the founder and managing partner of Odeh Advocates, which works mainly in human rights cases and class actions. He volunteers as a legal manager for Northern East Jerusalem Residents’ Committee’s Legal Clinic, where he represents individual and public interest human rights cases. Odeh also volunteers as an international humanitarian law coordinator in the Association for the Promotion of International Humanitarian Law and is a member of the Young Legal leaders group of the International Bar Association, dealing with the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. 

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