The Israeli municipality in West Jerusalem plans to open Ariel Sharon Street in an effort to erase the memory of the Palestinian villages which once stood in the area.
The new road penetrates the mountains of western Jerusalem through two underground tunnels that pass under the Har Nof settlement built on the land of the village of Deir Yassin, and connects the settlements in southern Jerusalem with Highway No. 1 which connects Jaffa and West Jerusalem.
Palestinian researcher specialised in Jerusalem affairs, Fakhri Abu Diab, said construction took over three years at a total cost of 300 million shekels ($91.3 million) and the road runs six kilometres.
Abu Diab added that the street was constructed under the pretext of reducing congestion and facilitating Israelis’ access to the city of Jerusalem from the western side.
The road has been named after Israel’s former prime minister who has been accused by Palestinians and rights groups of being a war criminal after he oversaw the massacre of Palestinian civilians in Qibya in 1953, refugees in Gaza the same year and refugees in Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatilla camp and neighbourhood in 1982.