RAMALLAH, October 26 (JMCC) - Israel
's parliament will consider a law making the city of Jerusalem
a national priority area for development.
The bill proposed by member of Knesset
Uri Ariel of the National Union
party will encourage investment in the city of Jerusalem, particularly its eastern parts. New investment will target young couples seeking suburban homes, said the lawmaker.
Palestinians seek the eastern half of Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
The bill appears to have the support of the majority of the government and will be presented to the Knesset in a matter of weeks.
This new project is an attempt to convert what are now settlements into Jerusalem as a modern city attractive to residents and investor, just like Tel Aviv
, said Khalil Tufakji, head of the mapping department in the Arab Studies Society.
Israel has recently faced a problem of internal migration away from Jerusalem, Tufakji said, and this new project will seek to transform Jerusalem from a poor city by comparison to a wealthy, attractive destination.
Israel's escalation of its settlement
policies in Jerusalem have reached the extent that every law or legislation or military order is an attempt to control what remains of Arab land, and displace its Arab population, said Ziad Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Economic and Social Rights.