MK Uri Ariel (National Union) vowed to support the construction of a
controversial park in the heart of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of
Silwan on Thursday during a meeting of the State Control Committee.
Ariel, who chairs the committee, also promised to investigate why no
illegal buildings have been demolished in Al Bustan despite the fact
that the courts have approved dozens of demolitions.
activists from the Btzedek initiated the discussion, claiming that
illegal building is unchecked in the neighborhood and the municipality
has done nothing to further the King’s Garden plan, in the Al-Bustan
neighborhood of Silwan. The King’s Garden/Gan HaMelech project calls for
the demolition of 22 of 88 residential buildings in the neighborhood in
order to recreate the historical green area that could have housed King
Solomon’s gardens or vineyards. Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat has adopted
the King’s Garden plan as one of his pet projects, which includes an
entire overhaul of the neighborhood with improved infrastructure and
community buildings, as well as retroactively legalizes 75 percent of
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