Israel’s ‘Committee of Construction and Local Planning’ in occupied Jerusalem met today to examine the “Silwan Development Plan,” which was put forward by the city’s Mayor, Nir Barakat. The Committee decided to go ahead with plans to demolish of dozens of Palestinian homes in the Silwan district, near the sight of the Al-Aqsa mosque, and more specifically the Bustan neighbourhood, in order to build a ‘biblical national park.’
The plan has sparked fierce anger and resentment among residents of the neighbourhoods under threat, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has urged the mayor to try and reach an understanding with the property owners. The residents previously presented a plan to the municipality to legalize all the houses in the neighbourhood, however it was rejected.
Local sources assert that should the Israeli occupation implement the demolition orders, they would inflame the region as they would put themselves in a difficult position internationally. The dust of the Israeli attack on the “freedom flotilla” has yet to settle, and such a decision would damage what Israel is trying to deliver to the world by easing the blockade on Gaza.
Source: The Palestinian Information Centre