The Palestinian Legislative Council building—known as the Palestinian Parliament—is simultaneously a construction site and a ruin. It collapsed not by the military violence that saturates our region but by the failure of a form of politics now challenged throughout the Middle East. Construction began in 1996, during the euphoria produced by the Oslo process. Its location is the product of political maneuvering. Some prominent members of the Palestinian leadership wanted to push the building as close as possible to the Al Aqsa mosque—a stepping stone towards the ultimate establishment of East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State—while Israeli leadership, military and settlers were simultaneously pushing the Parliament outside their unilaterally declared border of Jerusalem. Consequently, the Parliament wound up in Abu Dis, a peripheral Jerusalem neighborhood. In 2003, after the collapse of the Oslo Process, the eruption of the Second Intifada, and the construction of the Wall just a few meters from the building, construction on the Parliament was halted and the building was left empty: a massive relic and a testimony to the failure of political negotiations.
Photos Livia Minoja