OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)--11-20-10
Observers say the situation in Jerusalem is likely to explode in light of a decision by Israeli occupation authorities to demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes in the city.
Israeli legal consultant Yahuda Feinstein, during a meeting Thursday between Israel’s planning and construction committee attended by the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem and police force representatives, gave directives to partially close down a settlement outpost in the Arab district of Silwan and demolish hundreds of nearby Palestinian homes.
Silwan defense committee member Fakhri Abu Dhiab told Al-Jazeera that hundreds of residents have already received demolition notices.
Referring to sources inside Israel’s Jerusalem municipality, he added that Jerusalem mayor Nir Barakat received the green light from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to carry out the demolitions.
The committee said 340 homes are threatened to be demolished in Silwan for allegedly being built without a permit.
Israeli authorities approved only 60 building permits since the eastern part of the city was occupied in 1967.
Jerusalem attorney Ahmed Al-Roweidi said in a press release on Thursday that more than 20,000 homes in Jerusalem will be affected by decisions made in Israeli courts, adding that demolition orders against these homes would require 100,000 Palestinians to be ejected from their homes in an attempt to attract more Jewish settlers to reside in new settlements.
Roweidi said the Jerusalem district of Silwan, the Bustan neighborhood in particular, was under the greatest danger as the Israeli government threatened to take down 88 homes and evacuate 1,500 Arab residents to build a new biblical park dubbed the “King’s Park” on its place.
The Israeli occupation government is also expected to approve during a weekly meeting on Sunday a 30 million dollar plan to finish digging and construction in the Buraq Square, known by Jews as the Wailing Wall area.
Sources in Jerusalem said the plan, scheduled to stretch between 2011-2015, includes archaeological excavations in the area and tunnels near the Aqsa Mosque set to make the area accessible to the Jewish public.
The plan was complementary to an earlier 20 million dollar plan that lasted from 2006 to 2010 aimed at developing the Buraq Square and surrounding areas.