October 2005

13 City officials say that Mayor Uri Lupolianski's United Torah Judaism party has reached an accord with the city to pay a long overdue fine dating back to the Jerusalem mayoral election campaign more than two years ago. At issue was an NIS 800,000 party fine that United Torah Judaism received during the 2003 mayoral election campaign. 17 The Jerusalem Post reports that a year after a controversial construction project at the Western Wall expanded and heightened the separation between men and women at the Jerusalem holy site, several additional barriers dividing the sexes have been erected in the Western Wall plaza.

November 2005

1 Yad Vashem inaugurates an ultra-modern film library as part of its new Jerusalem Holocaust Museum in an effort to create the world's most comprehensive Holocaust film resource center. 8 City Hall announces it is clearing a minefield in Sur Bahir of the hundreds of explosives placed there by the Jordanians four decades ago to make way for a new Arab high school. 20 A visit to the Aksa Mosque by Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah, the first since he was released from prison in July, passes peacefully. 25 A 14-year-old yeshiva student is stabbed in the back and neck and moderately wounded by two Arab assailants.

December 2005

2 In Jerusalem reports that special independent investigator Attorney Gideon Vitkon has approved most of the provisions of the controversial Safdie Plan. 8 City officials reveal that the head of the city's licensing department, Micha Ben-Nun, and city engineer Uri Sheetrit have submitted their resignations over differences of opinion with the way the city is being run. • In Jerusalem reports that Citypass, the concessionaire chosen to construct the Jerusalem light rail system, has submitted its first set of plans to the Jerusalem municipality for final approval. 13 The Jerusalem Post reports that bomb-sniffing dogs are being used by the Hebrew University in an effort to prevent a terrorist bombing. 16 In Jerusalem reports that construction cranes have returned to the Omariya Compound in the German Colony, where construction is beginning on a controversial project. 18 The Jerusalem Post reports that the Palestinian Authority has lambasted a new visitors' center at the Western Wall plaza. "Israel is constructing a heritage center dedicated to show a fabricated heritage that might help them to deceive the foreign visitor into believing Jerusalem is a historical place of the Jews," an article about the new center on the Palestinian Authority's official Web site read. 23 The Jerusalem Post reports that the Vatican and an array of Christian churches in Jerusalem owe the municipality hundreds of millions of shekels in overdue property tax. 29 A Jerusalem Arab is convicted in the District Court for assisting a Palestinian suicide bomber who blew himself up at Cafe Hillel in 2003.

January 2005

8 Large police forces raid buildings and institutions in Kfar Tapuah and Jerusalem affiliated with the Jewish Legion (Gdud Haivri) paramilitary organization. The raids came after OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh issued an order outlawing the organization, which is suspected of being associated with the Kach movement. 9 Shmuel Yehezkel, a border policeman who shot dead an east Jerusalem man during a routine arrest operation last year, is charged with manslaughter in the Jerusalem District Court. The shooting, which spurred a night of Arab rioting in Isawiya, was found to have been unjustified by a Justice Ministry investigation. 18 The city announces that 160 streets in east Jerusalem have officially been named. 15 The cabinet allows 5,000 east Jerusalem Arabs to vote in the upcoming Palestinian Legislative Council elections in five post offices in the capital. 22 The light rail project manager says Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi have each agreed to loan NIS 140 million to Citypass, the consortium building and operating the initial Red Line of the Jerusalem light rail, in the first installation of a total funding pact worth about NIS 2 billion. 25 Thousands of Jerusalem Arabs take part in the first Palestinian parliamentary elections in a decade. Israel allowed some 6,300 Jerusalem Arabs to vote at six east Jerusalem post offices, while the vast majority of roughly 120,000 eligible voters had to cast their ballots at nearby polling stations in the West Bank.

February 2005

7 The municipality announces that the high-speed railway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will begin running only in 2010. 17 In Jerusalem reports that Jerusalem has become one of 326 cities, and the first in the Middle East, to launch its own "Green Map."

March 2005

5 The new offices of the Interior Ministry in east Jerusalem are inaugurated. "Today is a holiday first and foremost for the 250,000 Arab residents of east Jerusalem as well as for the workers of the Interior Ministry," deputy interior minister Ruhama Avraham said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 14 The Jerusalem Post reports that the Hebrew University has been ranked 77th best university in the world and the premier Israeli institution of higher education, according to a British survey conducted last year. 24 Following a report by In Jerusalem, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel petitioned the Jerusalem District Court to put a stop to the discriminatory admissions policies applied in the Beit Ya'acov schools. An October 28, 2005, article revealed that hundreds of Sephardi haredi girls are rejected by "Ashkenazi" schools due to quotas that limit the numbers of Sephardi girls to a maximum of 30 percent. 31 In Jerusalem reports that the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court has granted the appeal of the Sheikh Sa'id Neighborhood Committee and five residents of the village, filed in opposition to the security barrier.

April 2005

7 In Jerusalem reports that the cornerstone has been laid for the Bilingual School's new campus. 10 The Jerusalem Post reports that the main road that ran from the City of David to the Temple Mount during the time of the Second Temple has been uncovered by Israeli archeologists. • The death of a three-month-old baby after allegedly being beaten by his 20-year-old yeshiva student father, Yisrael Valis, leads a leading haredi rabbi to accuse the police and the justice authorities of concocting a Pessah eve blood libel. 20 The Jerusalem Post reports that the government is one step closer to completely blocking off the northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem from the West Bank when the High Court of Justice rejected Palestinian petitions against sealing two breaches in the separation wall at Bir Naballah and A-Ram. • Rap legend and Men in Black movie star Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith pay a visit to the Western Wall as part of a private trip to the region. 24 The chief pastor of the Anglican community in Israel says Mordechai Vanunu will be leaving St. George's Cathedral in east Jerusalem, the Anglican church where he has spent the two years since his release from jail, and would be moving into an apartment in east Jerusalem.

May 2005

23 The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies releases statistics ahead of Jerusalem Day, revealing that 718,900 people live in Jerusalem, of whom 66 percent are Jewish and 34% are Arab. 26 In Jerusalem reports that Mayor Uri Lupolianski has given the final approval for construction of the giant Strings ("Calatrava") Bridge at the entrance to the city. 29 The Jerusalem District Court orders the municipality to pay the city's Gay and Lesbian Center NIS 350,000 for "cultural and social activities" held by the organization over the previous three years.

June 2005

5 The Jerusalem Post reports that, contrary to reports published on the Internet, Jerusalem Film Festival founder and Israel Prize laureate Lia Van Leer, 82, is not going to retire. 13 A broad-based coalition of MKs and Knesset lobby groups calls on the National Council for Planning and Construction of the Interior Ministry to freeze all further discussion of the Safdie Plan for the development of west Jerusalem. The council was expected to approve the plan at a meeting scheduled for July 4. 18 The High Court of Justice rejects two petitions filed by Palestinians against the separation barrier in the Jerusalem area, and a request for a temporary injunction against construction of the "inner barrier" in the south Hebron hills. •Actress Uma Thurman, in Israel for a friend's wedding, visits the Old City. 22 The municipality announces that, at the behest of Jordan, it has demolished an illegally built Arab structure on the grounds of an unfinished east Jerusalem palace belonging to the late Jordanian King Hussein. 27 Jerusalem police say they are investigating an arson attack that took place at the Sha'are Rahamim Vesimha Synagogue, on the periphery of French Hill. 28 A group of Christian supporters of Israel wearing T- shirts reading "Love your neighbor as yourself" are assaulted in Mea She'arim. Three of the tourists and a police officer were lightly injured in the attack. • Business representatives and private entrepreneurs debate the city's future at the Second Annual Jerusalem Business Conference. • Interior Minister Roni Bar-On decides to revoke the permanent residence status of four Hamas parliamentarians, including the Palestinian Authority's Jerusalem Affairs minister.

July 2005

2 Approximately 500 German Colony residents meet to plan opposition to high-rise hotel developments in the neighborhood's Omariya Compound. 5 Officials announce that a 30-year-old wobbly ramp leading up to the Mughrabi Gate adjacent to the Western Wall which has long been considered unsafe by city engineers will be removed soon. 10 A pamphlet is distributed in Mea She'arim offering an NIS 20,000 reward for killing a homosexual. 14 The City Council voted to fire city attorney Yossi Havilio following a series of disputes between Mayor Uri Lupolianski and the city's top law enforcement official. • In Jerusalem reports that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has appointed MK Ya'acov Edri (Kadima) minister responsible for Jerusalem affairs and chair of the Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem Affairs. 21 In Jerusalem reports that popular Jerusalem spots are crowded during the war in the North. 23 WorldPride 2006, an international gay pride parade that was scheduled to take place in August, is canceled after police refused to permit the march to go ahead due to the war in the North and the security situation in the country. 26 Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz urges a Jerusalem court to reverse the municipality's dismissal of city attorney Yossi Havilio, calling the move "faulty."

August 2005

4 In Jerusalem reports that the meeting of the National Council for Planning, which was scheduled to make a final decision regarding the Safdie Plan, has been postponed indefinitely. 10 Angelo Frammartino, a 24-year-old Italian peace activist, is stabbed to death near the Old City by an Arab assailant. 25 In Jerusalem reports that the flagship Seeds of Peace Coexistence Center is closing its Jerusalem base. 28 The Jerusalem Post reports that until Jerusalem's venerable Bikur Holim Hospital is sold to private entrepreneurs, its 270 retirees - who since it was put into official receivership in 2003 have received their monthly pensions late or not at all - will get them from the Treasury via the Health Ministry. 30 The International Christian Embassy lambastes the recent decisions by the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador to move their embassies from the capital to Tel Aviv. Over the past quarter century, Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only two countries to have an embassy in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Open House announces it will take the Jerusalem police to court over their determination to ban a gay pride parade then slated to take place on September 21.

September 2005

4 An Arab girls' school is inaugurated in Sur Bahir at the site of a former minefield used by the Jordanians during the Six Day War. 13 The cornerstone is laid for the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv high-speed railway station near the International Convention Center. 18 According to a compromise reached by the state and High Court petitioners, the gay pride parade will be held on November 10. Representatives of the police, the state prosecution, the Jerusalem Municipality, leaders of the Open House and members of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) negotiated for three hours until they reached an agreement. - Written and compiled by Nechama Veeder, Erica Danielle Chernofsky and Etgar Lefkovits
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