Hapoel Katamon is a step closer to becoming a reality after the group of Hapoel Jerusalem supporters planning to set up the alternative team announced that it has raised the NIS 1 million it needed.
"I'm happy to announce that the first stage of bringing Hapoel Jerusalem back to good hands has been completed successfully," said Uri Sheradsky, one of the leaders of the group aiming to create the new team.
"Half of the NIS 1m. has been collected from the supporters and the other half has come from business men."
Sheradsky said the club will now begin looking for a new coach who will put a team together in time for the start of Liga Aleph, the fourth tier of Israeli soccer, in October.
The team will take the place of Hapoel Mevasseret-Abu Ghosh in the league.
Beni Sivan, who was chairman at Hapoel Jerusalem in the final months of last season, will hold the same position at Katamon.
The new club's directorate will include Sivan, Alon Liel, former president of Hapoel Mevasseret-Abu Ghosh, business man and local municipality member Nir Barkat and two members of the team's supporters, who will be selected in an election by the fans who bought into the new club.
Katamon has already linked up with the Peres Center for Peace and will hold a tournament on August 12-16 for boys between the ages of 12-16.
Boys from Abu-Ghosh, Mevasseret Zion, Jericho and Bethlehem will take part in the tournament, which will host youth coaches from European clubs Werder Bremen, Fulham, and FC Basel.
"Our club is the proof that Jews and Arabs can find a common language and live peacefully side by side," Liel said.
"The visit of the European coaches not only gives the children a unique experience, but will also hopefully help convey to the Israeli and European public the Jews and Arabs can cooperate."