The following letter was sent to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat by residents of the Ramot Gimmel neighborhood of Jerusalem in light of the ongoing machlokes there regarding the Ohel Rochel Beis Yaakov and surrounding green lands.
To the Honorable Mayor of Jerusalem
Mr. Nir Barkat (copies sent to councilmen involved in the matter)
We, residents of Ramot Gimmel are witness to the building of the new wing of the Ohel Rochel Beis Yaakov. We are astonished at the injustices that are being done in the course of this construction, and it seems to us that in a properly-run municipality, such things would not occur.
Following are some of the point that we are protesting:
Although the new wing was built on city land, construction constitutes a serious blow to the green area and the beautiful garden designed for all residents of the neighborhood.
We, all the residents of Ramot Gimel state that since there is a shortage of classrooms for students in Ramot Bet, we are paying the price. We are paying a high price, and we do not understand why no appropriate solution was found in Ramot Bet, their residence.
The decision to build was made by a committee in the Jerusalem Municipality without publicizing it to us and we think that this is our elementary right to know about a public structure that is being established in our region. Now, at the height of the construction, we wish to be made aware regarding construction of additional floors and paving an additional way to the school, as everything was done behind closed doors without publicizing to the public.
We have no possibility of expressing our opinion. In addition to all the above, we have now learned that the Jerusalem Municipality, adding insult to injury, continues showing disregard for the residents and continues to harm and show disrespect to residents, and once again, planning behind closed doors, informing a small group of interested parties. The remaining green areas will be gobbled up by the building in no small part, and not for school as was planned originally.
It is important to understand the green area is used by all the area residents, of varied ages, and many enjoy walking around in a green area that is not a children’s playground, with the playground apparatus, all times of the day including morning and early afternoon.
The Jerusalem Municipality, in an intolerable trampling of residents’ rights, prevents residents from using the garden and restricts the area for certain hours as it sees it without taking into account the needs of the entire public compromises our rights. Many therefore question if the decisions made conform to the law.
This area belongs to us !!! We are not prepared to give up !!!
Residents of Ramot Gimmel
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)