RAMALLAH, Oct. 13 (JMCC) - Jerusalem
's mayor, Nir Barkat, has once again called on Israel's Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
to approve a controversial re-zoning plan
for occupied East Jerusalem, according to the AFP.
Nir Barkat said the project would legalise thousands of buildings in annexed east Jerusalem that Arab residents built without Israeli municipal permission.Read
Barkat called on the prime minister and his government to adopt the municipality's new re-zoning plans for Jerusalem's eastern neighbourhoods and reiterated his demand to halt demolition orders throughout areas under re-zoning, Barkat's office said in a statement.
However, at the heart of the plan is a new an archaeological park in a crumbling Arab neighbourhood just outside the walls of the Old City which has drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians and the international community.
The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state and oppose any attempts to extend Israel's control over the part of the city that was captured in the 1967 Six Day War.
Israel considers the whole of Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital.
Many Palestinians in east Jerusalem risk having their homes razed because they were built or expanded without the necessary permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.
The statement from Barkat's office said his plan simultaneously caters to both the needs of the residents and adheres to both the law and original planning principles.
Netanyahu has in the past asked Barkat to delay the so-called Gan Hamelech (King's Garden) archaeological project to avoid increased international pressure on Israel, particularly from the United States.
The crowded Palestinian neighbourhood, known in Arabic as Al-Bustan, is part of the so-called Holy Basin, just outside the walls of Jerusalem's famed Old City, and is believed to be the site of ancient Jerusalem during the time of the biblical kings David and Solomon...
more at the AFP...