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How one Jerusalem neighborhood has been left to fend for itself

The Jerusalem neighborhood Kufr Aqab has become no-man’s-land, as Israelis who have sovereignty do not provide services to its residents and the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to enter the area.
A general view of Jerusalem's old city shows the Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, October 25, 2015. Palestinian officials reacted warily on Sunday to what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed as Jordan's "excellent suggestion" to calm Israeli-Palestinian violence by putting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site under constant video monitoring. REUTERS/Amir Cohen  - RTX1T4AE

When Tamara and Ala’a got married in 2012, in addition to their wedding in Beit Jala, they held a second ceremony in Jerusalem to ensure that they could register their marriage in the holy city. The couple moved into a small house in the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Safa to make sure that they could legally prove their connection to Jerusalem.

The second wedding and the Jerusalem home were necessary to ensure that the Palestinian couple would not lose their residency permits. But this played out differently. Because Ala’a is from Beit Jala and Tamara from East Jerusalem, the couple could not always be together in the same place. Ala’a came home whenever he managed to obtain a permit, often around Christmas and Easter, while the rest of the year he had to either sneak into Jerusalem or Tamara had to stay at her in-laws.

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