Jerusalem municipality and Israeli government fund new settlement close to Al-Aqsa 31May12 May 31, 2012

IMEMC   –     30 May 2012

The Jerusalem Municipality along with Israeli Ministry of Tourism are to jointly allocate 4 million NIS to fund the development of a new settlement project in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, south of al-Aqsa mosque reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz yesterday.

The project is an attempt to encourage tourism in the City of David National Park, and is being operated by the El Ad organisation whose objective is to settle Jews in the area.

This project appears to form part of the concerted effort of the settler organisation Elad to occupy areas within Silwan which then become unavailable to Palestinians many of whom have lived there for many years. Furthermore Elad is being financially supported in this activity by the Jerusalem Municipality.

The financial committee of Jerusalem municipality decided last week to transfer a budget of 1.1 million and 900,000 NIS, while the Ministry of tourism will also transfer 2 million NIS.

The report also said that the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Yosef ‘Pepe’ Alalu, who voted against the project stated, “The Municipality and the Ministry are transferring this money to the organization that aims to control the village of Silwan.”

‘Pepe’ Alalu also stated that the decision influences the cultural institutions in Jerusalem because three million NIS from the Municipality development budget will go to this project and this money will be unavailable for other projects.

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