Excavations in the earliest part of Jerusalem have long been hindered by the presence of modern buildings. Many of the houses in the “City of David” were allegedly built without government permits, and the municipality has threatened to destroy them. This would allow for much more extensive excavation of the area. Recently, the city offered to transfer the affected families to another part of town. Naturally, the Arab residents are not enthusiastic about the plan. The article does not mention another reality: any Arab who gives up land to the Jews faces a death sentence. Haaretz reports:
The Jerusalem municipality may offer to voluntarily relocate some 1,500 Palestinian residents of the city’s Silwan neighborhood – currently living on top of an archaeological site – to alternative lots in East Jerusalem, residents say.
The option was brought up by city council and East Jerusalem portfolio holder Yakir Segev, in meetings with the residents.
The 88 houses at issue were constructed without permits in the Al-Bustan area of Silwan and are slated for demolition. They stand in an area known as the King’s Garden, defined as being of great archaeological importance by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
According to attorney Ziad Qa’awar, the last meeting took place early February and saw Segev proposing two alternative locations, one on a different hill in Silwan, and the other in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, in the northeast of the city.
The proposition was unanimously rejected by the residents.
“We told him that these were lands we inherited from our parents, and we were not going to give them up,” said Fathi Abu Diab, a member of the residents’ committee. “We were born here, and our children were born here too.”
The story continues here.
HT: Joe Lauer