The Jerusalem Planning Committee on Monday approved destroying 22 Arab homes in the Shiloach (Silwan) area of the eastern capital to clear the area for King’s Garden project. The committee approved Mayor Nir Barkat’s plan to establish a park in the area, seeking to preserve and revitalize the area. Ironically, the owners of illegal homes in the area will enjoy retroactive approval for their homes. Those whose homes are being razed will receive land to rebuilt even larger homes if they wish.
The Arab homeowners are benefiting from the plan which will improve the area, since the master plan that was approved, while a modified version of the original larger plan, it includes new sewage and electricity to the area homes. The homes being demolished in many cases do not have proper electricity or sewage, some in poor condition, dating back many years.
Opponents of the plan, primarily the leftists, warn the city’s plan will fuel the fires of conflict and launch unprecedented conflict in the capital. They also warn it will harm already compromised relations between Israel and Western nations.
Senior PA (Palestinian Authority) negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat capitalized on the reaction of the Israeli left-wing community, warning the plan will derail the stalled peace negotiations, calling on the international community to step in and halt the plan.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)