Terminology in the Jerusalem context can be complex and also controversial. Words and their meanings shape narratives. Our Lexicon goes beyond standard definitions and also offers, where applicable, nuanced shades of meanings that matter to Palestinian Jerusalemites.

E1 Development Plan

A major Israeli settlement plan proposed for development east of Jerusalem that would block Palestinian development east of Jerusalem and close off the last remaining corridor between the city and West Bank Palestinian communities. Since the 1990s, the Israeli government has set out to develop this 12 sq km zone of unsettled lands originally belonging to Palestinian villages into a large industrial and commercial area, including the Israeli settlement Mevasseret Adumim, an airport, hotels, tourist attractions, and major roads. The plan, pursued by different Israeli administrations, has only been partially approved and completed due to international pressure. Mainly, an Israeli district police station was established in 2008.

The plan functions as part of the vision for “Greater Jerusalem,” which creates demographic, territorial, and transportational contiguity between Jewish settlements inside and outside the Israeli municipal boundary, while separating and suffocating Palestinian localities. The plan would solidify Israeli control over the corridor, linking the Ma‘ale Adumim settlement bloc to Israeli Jerusalem and the coastal city of Tel Aviv, while surrounding and isolating Palestinian villages in the eastern suburbs to whom the lands originally belong: a-Za‘ayim, al-‘Izariyya, Abu Dis, ‘Arab al-Jahalin, and ‘Anata. With Ma‘ale Adumim to their east and the Separation Wall to their west, these Palestinian localities are thus unable to grow. In addition, completion of the E1 plan would essentially break the occupied West Bank into two parts by blocking access between its southern and northern parts, as Jerusalem is mostly inaccessible to Palestinians with Palestinian Authority (PA) identity cards.

East Jerusalem

Refers to the region encompassing the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern suburbs and hinterlands. The term was used to distinguish between this part of the city, which Israel occupied in June of 1967, and the western part, which Israel occupied and emptied of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948. Shortly after occupation, Israel unilaterally expanded the borders of East Jerusalem, tripling it in size and adding 28 Palestinian villages, and then unilaterally extended its law, jurisdiction, and administration to the newly expanded area. International law and most countries of the world do not recognize this unilateral act as legal and consider that East Jerusalem remains under military occupation. Palestinians also consider that Israel is not the rightful sovereign over East Jerusalem and consider it as the capital for a future Palestinian state. The reality today, however, is that both West and East Jerusalem are controlled by the Israeli government and are mostly under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Jerusalem municipality. Since 1967, the government has also invested considerable effort and resources into changing the demographic makeup of East Jerusalem by funding and facilitating Jewish settlement there.

Eid al-Adha

One of two major Islamic holidays, the other being Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Adha translates to the “festival of sacrifice.” This celebration falls during the Islamic lunar month of Dhu al-Hijja, in which the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca occurs. The festival lasts for about three to four days. Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham when facing the trial of sacrificing his son Ishmael in obedience to God’s command. However, God honored both Abraham and Ishmael and, thus, before the sacrifice could be carried out, provided a ram to be sacrificed instead.

The first day of this holiday begins with a special early morning prayer service held in large congregations, often in open fields or large mosques. In honor of Abraham, Muslims who can afford to do so will sacrifice an animal, such as a sheep, goat, cow, or camel. The meat from the sacrifice is then distributed among family, friends, and those in need. Eid al-Adha is also a time for family gatherings, festive meals, and gift-giving.

Eid al-Fitr

An Islamic festival of celebration marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which requires daily fasting. Eid al-Fitr translates to “the festival of breaking fast.” This celebration is one of two official holidays celebrated within the Islamic faith and falls on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar (Hijri) calendar. In some Muslim countries, Eid al-Fitr is also a public holiday. In the early hours of the first day of Eid al-Fitr, Muslims flock to dedicated outdoor areas for a specific Eid prayer, which must be performed in congregation and led by an imam. It is forbidden to fast on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. During this religious holiday, young Muslims are often gifted money from various family members. Sweets are also made and distributed specifically for this holiday, typically ma‘moul and ka‘ek, two buttery pastries made with semolina flour, walnuts, and dates.

Elad Association

A settler association, also known as Ir David Foundation (its name in Hebrew is El Ir David, or To the City of David) or just Elad, established in 1986 to support archaeological sites and settlements around Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the City of David site in the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh, Silwan. Its stated mission is to “house Jewish families in the City of David” and “strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.” It is believed to be one of the strongest and wealthiest organizations in Israel. Its funders include the United Israel Appeal (Keren Hayesod), the Jewish Agency, and some chapters of Friends of the IDF. Elad began by appropriating Palestinian properties in Jerusalem with the support of Israeli official entities, expelling their Palestinian residents, and transferring the properties to Jewish Israeli settlers. More recently, it was granted control by the Israeli government of several historical and archaeological sites, pursuing an ideological narrative about ancient Jewish presence in these sensitive locations. Although its activities began in Silwan, it has expanded its efforts to many other Palestinian neighborhoods, including Jabal Mukabbir, al-Tur, Ras al-Amud, and al-Suwana.