Barkat delays Silwan plan

Follows request by PM to allow more time for agreement with local residents.

March 2, 2010 14:36
Anti-Silwan plan poster

Silwan poster 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat postponed the announcement of a planned demolition of homes in Silwan as part of a neighborhood redevelopment plan, following a request by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to allow more time for coming to an agreement with local residents.

Netanyahu, according to a statement released from his office, called Barkat in the morning, just hours before the mayor was scheduled to unveil the plan at a Jerusalem press conference, and asked him for the delay.

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Netanyahu, apparently concerned about negative fallout, said he had no intention of interfering with municipal affairs, but that there were many "interested parties" keen on stirring up a dispute and presenting a "distorted" picture of the situation.

The call to Barkat comes within two weeks of the prime minister's own decision to place the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, on a list of Jewish historical sites to be preserved – a move that unleashed days of violence in Hebron, and condemnation from around the world.

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