Ein Kerem residents won another victory in their fight to stop the Tourism Ministry from turning their historic neighborhood into a “Disneyworld” when the High Court of Justice on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction prohibiting any further work on a new tourism development until the court hears the full appeal at a later date.
The Tourism Ministry and the municipality, in an effort to develop the infrastructure for an influx of tourists, are trying to build public bathrooms and enlarge the plaza next to the historic Ein Kerem Church of the Visitation. They want the plaza to act as a new overlook point to accommodate large tour groups, which sometimes block the narrow Rehov Hama’ayan.
But residents say the new toilets are located over ruins from the Second Temple period, and the construction will irrevocably change the character of their unique neighborhood. A monstrous concrete building currently sits in the wadi below the spring as the case winds its way through the courts. Activists are planning a number of tours of the area to highlight the archaeological and historical importance of the area on Saturday.