Court: Paving, upgrades near City of David must stop

High Court of Justice rules that infrastructure upgrades in east Jerusalem neighborhood must be halted.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
June 16, 2011 03:04
2 minute read.
Silwan

311_Silwan. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Upgrades to the infrastructure and public spaces in the Ir David/Wadi Hilweh section of the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem must be halted for six months while the city reexamines whether the structures were built illegally, the High Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday.

The municipality, along with the Transportation Ministry and the Local Planning and Building Committee, has been upgrading the infrastructure around the City of David Archeological Park, which is run by the Ir David Foundation, a group that “aims to strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and renew the Jewish community in the City of David.” Work on sewage, water, and drainage pipes in the area will continue.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


For three years, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has waged a legal battle to halt the infrastructure upgrades around the park. Though basic services such as sewage pipes, sidewalks, paved roads and water pipes are severely lacking in east Jerusalem, residents of Silwan say the upgrades are primarily for the benefit of the City of David site. They also claim the Ir David Foundation has been using the excuse of infrastructure upgrades to tunnel underneath their homes and use the resulting archeological finds to force them out of their homes.

“We welcome the decision of the High Court, and remind the authorities that they have an obligation to end the failure and neglect of planning in neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, and must continue planning in the area by providing a real answer to the problems of local residents before the interests of tourism,” ACRI lawyer Nasrin Alian said. ACRI worked with the Bimkom: Planning for Human Rights organization to bring the petition.

“The Ir David Foundation regrets that the petitioners were successful in preventing the residents from receiving benches, trash facilities, ornamental trees and lampposts that they are entitled to just like any other residents of the city,” Ir David Foundation spokesman Udi Ragones said.

The justices rejected the municipality’s position that because the area is included within the City of David (Jerusalem Walls) National Park, it can make significant planning changes without going through the approval process typically required of all construction and infrastructure upgrades.

The court asked that the city and planning experts review the plan and decide whether or not to remove the work that has already been performed and compensate property owners for any damage done.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD