Jerusalem 1967

VOL. 37


No. 1
P. 88
Special Document File
Jerusalem 1967

A. Firsthand Account of the Fall of Arab Jerusalem, by Anwar al-Khatib al-Tamimi, Governor of Jerusalem District. ........... 89

B. Memorandum from the Jerusalem Municipal Council to the Occupation Authorities on the Annexation of Jerusalem, 22 July 1967. . 95

C. Jerusalem’s Muslim Religious Establishment versus the Occupation Authorities, a Firsthand Account, by Shaykh Abd al-Hamid al-Sayih, President of the Shari‘a Court of Appeal. .............. 96

D. Memorandum Concerning the Measures Taken by Israel with Respect to the City of Jerusalem, Submitted by Ruhi al-Khatib, 26 August 1967......................................... 106

In commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the occupation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 war, JPS is publishing a selection of documents pertaining to the city’s capture and the first few months under Israeli rule.

Almost immediately after East Jerusalem’s fall on 7 June, Israel set about changing the face of the city, razing the ancient Mughrabi (Moroccan) Quarter (including its shrines, evicting some 650 persons in the process) to create the plaza fronting the Wailing Wall, forcibly evicting an additional 3,000 residents of the Jewish Quarter, and demolishing numerous other buildings inside and outside the old city in preparation for a massive building program. On 28 June, it annexed (under the guise of “expanding the jurisdiction” of the Jerusalem municipality) not only East Jerusalem but a large swath of West Bank territory to the north and south, disbanding the Jordanian Municipal Council the next day, repealing the laws in force, and imposing a host of new regulations and orders. Concurrently, however, the authorities endeavored to co-opt or integrate to the extent possible the existing administrative and religious establishment into the new Israeli system.

The following documents describe various aspects of actions taken in these first months. The account of Jerusalem’s fall by Anwar al-Khatib, governor of the Jerusalem district, gives a sense of the utter disarray and confusion that reigned in the city in the days following the Israeli attack, the complete lack of preparedness, and the almost immediate collapse of any resistance. The next two documents both reflect the stirrings of an early, nonmilitary, and indeed passive resistance to the occupation by the local establishment in the form of determined noncooperation with the Israeli authorities. The memorandum from the members of Jerusalem’s disbanded Municipal Council is a collective response to Israel’s attempt to secure their cooperation by dealing with each of them separately. The account by Shaykh Abd al-Hamid al-Sayih, the city’s most senior Muslim official, details the persistent attempts of the Israeli ministry of religious affairs to integrate Jerusalem’s religious hierarchy and Islamic courts and institutions into the Israeli system, the Muslim establishment’s countering moves, and the stalemate that ultimately led to al-Sayih’s deportation. The memorandum by Ruhi al-Khatib, Jerusalem’s deposed mayor, and several of his colleagues from the dissolved municipal council provides a low-key catalogue of the occupation measures in various domains (administrative, economic, social). 

It bears mentioning that the emphasis in a number of the documents on the West Bank as an integral part of Jordan reflects the prevailing mood of the Palestinian establishment of the time and relates to the tactical priority of securing a return to the status quo ante bellum.