PASSIA Director, Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, opened the event with a welcome speech and emphasized the relevance of this discussion for the future of East Jerusalem. Khalil Tafakji, director of the Department of Cartography and Geographic Information Systems of the Arab Studies Society, gave a detailed overview of the subject matter and explained the application of existing laws in a talk on the civic significance of state property management.
He further elaborated on the details of problematic ownership and land register law in Israel with reference to Palestinian property. The subsequent lively discussion of the audience addressed, among other things, the coming municipal elections in the Jerusalem city administration and the question of whether Palestinian participation in the elections could potentially have a positive or negative impact on the people of East Jerusalem. Both the advantages and disadvantages of the influence within the city administration of Jerusalem as well as the possibilities of alternative solutions were discussed controversially.