The questions of civil status of East Jerusalem residents and the fate of property they owned on both the east and west sides of the city were interwoven from the very beginning of the discussion around the implications of annexing the Old City and the villages in its vicinity to the State of Israel. Some of the records pertaining to this discussion during the first year of the occupation are presented here.
The annexation of the Old City of Jerusalem and 28 villages around it to the State of Israel shortly after the war raised questions about the civil status of the Palestinian inhabitants who found themselves in an area the State of Israel had declared as its own. Moreover, certain Israeli land and property laws, designed to handle property owned by people who had become refugees or internally displaced in 1948 raised issues surrounding the property of East Jerusalem residents. The Government of Israel was in no rush to resolve the complex issues created by the annexation.