Palestinian Jerusalemites form the largest urban demographic concentration of Palestinians in historic Palestine, outside of the Gaza Strip. Yet since 1967, they have not had any elected political representation. How and why is this possible?

The Story in Numbers


Percentage of Jerusalemites who are Palestinian, whether permanent residents or citizens, according to Israeli data for 2020, which are known to be underestimates [1]


Percentage of Jerusalemite Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship (versus being permanent residents, who cannot vote in national elections) [2]

$3.8 billion

Municipal budget of Jerusalem, which goes almost entirely to Jewish residents [3]


Percentage of Palestinian Jerusalemites who voted in the 2018 Jerusalem municipal elections [4]


Number of eligible voters (Israeli municipal elections) in Jerusalem, including Jews, Palestinians (citizens and residents), and others, in 2024 [6]


Number of polling booths provided for Palestinian neighborhoods beyond the wall, where one-third of the city’s Palestinian residents live—2024 municipal elections [7]


Number of Palestinian mayors of Jerusalem since the State of Israel was established in 1948 (excluding Arab Jerusalem when it was under Jordanian rule 1947–67) [8]


Number of Palestinian municipal councillors elected to the Jerusalem Municipal Council since 1967 [9]


Number of national elections Palestinians have held since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1995 [10]


Last year that a national Palestinian election was held [11]


Number of Palestinian voters out of 35,000 registered residents of Jerusalem (less than one-fifth) who were actually allowed to vote inside J1 in the first Palestinian election in 1996 (the rest had to travel to vote in J2) [12]


[1] Omer Yaniv, Netta Haddad, and Yair Assaf-Shapira, Jerusalem Facts and Trends 2022 (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, 2022), 20. Reflects the number of Palestinians entered in the Israeli Population Registry (including both citizens and permanent residents). Unregistered persons and persons with Palestinian Authority IDs living in Jerusalem may number in the thousands or tens of thousands, but are not counted in this source.

[2] Nir Hasson, “Just 5 Percent of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Have Received Citizenship Since 1967,” Haaretz, May 29, 2022.

[3] Mat Nashed, “‘We Resist Silently’: Many Palestinians to Boycott Israel’s Municipal Vote,” Al Jazeera, February 22, 2024.

[4] Eetta Prince-Gibson, “Why There’s No Palestinian Protest Vote in Jerusalem,” Foreign Policy, November 19, 2018, citing numbers from the results page of the municipality.

[5] “Palestinians and the Jerusalem Municipal Elections (30 October 2018),” Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), October 2018.

[6] Nir Hasson and Yael Freidson, “Secular Jerusalemites Are Preoccupied with the War, but Local Politicians Are Fighting for Power,” Haaretz, February 23, 2024.

[7] “Municipal Elections.”

[8] “Jerusalem: Mayors of Jerusalem (1899–Present),” Jewish Virtual Library, accessed February 29, 2024.

[9] “Municipal Elections.”

[10] “Previous Election Events,” Central Elections Commission—Palestine (CEC), accessed February 29, 2024.

[11] “Previous Election Events.”

[12] NDI and the Carter Center, The January 20, 1996 Palestinian Elections (Atlanta, 1997), 67.