The Israeli government yesterday approved an extra 850 million shekels ($220 million) to develop the city of Jerusalem over the next five years.
“This is almost NIS 1 billion that we are investing in the development of Jerusalem, in technology and in companies,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Palestinians believe this is a further step towards the Judaisation of the city.
The announcement came during a special cabinet meeting for Jerusalem Day; a national holiday in Israel that marks the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.
“The face of Jerusalem is changing. There is an interesting technological development here,” Netanyahu said.
According to the prime minister, the extra fund will be invested in technology, business and tourism.
Israeli public radio quoted Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat calling on the government to transfer the country’s ministries and government institutions to Jerusalem.
Former Minister for Jerusalem Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hatem Abdel Qader, said: “The Israeli extra budget aims to foster the occupation in Jerusalem and supports the settlers.”
“The Arab population will not benefit from the projects,” he added.
He called on Arabs and Muslims to shoulder their responsibilities towards Jerusalem and confront the Israeli attack against it.