This week in Jerusalem: Get out

A weekly round-up of city affairs.

 SHOPPERS AT the Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem – dissension beneath the surface? (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
SHOPPERS AT the Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem – dissension beneath the surface?
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Get out

The luxury and pleasant cosmopolitan atmosphere in the prestigious Mamilla Mall seems under threat, as it turns out that beneath the glittering atmosphere, power struggles are taking place between the owners and one of the tenants. The Rova Alrov Company, which owns the Mamilla Mall, demands that Kedma restaurant vacates the venue immediately, citing improper conduct with the property. The restaurant’s owner refuses to evacuate and has filed an urgent request to prevent the eviction, arguing that the Rova Alrov are acting contrary to the contract. Rova Alrov claims that Kedma’s management is disregarding the project lease conditions, the law and the proper public order, arguing that in the kitchen there are serious sanitary defects, besides blockages and damage to the shops below. Kedma storage blocks the emergency exits in public areas in a manner that could be a death trap during an emergency escape and constitutes a very serious safety defect.

Moreover, adds Rova Alrov, Kedma has used improvised pirated electrical connections that endanger human lives, despite repeated requests to stop doing so and has removed the smoke detectors installed on lease by the management company. The restaurant’s management rejects the allegations and filed an urgent request to prevent the restaurant’s eviction. They attack Rova Alrov, arguing that the company is apparently seeking to get rich at the plaintiff’s expense, violating the lease, and seeks to build residential housing. Stay tuned.

Deep purple

The Purple Line of the light rail was approved last week by the Local Planning and Construction Committee and the plan submitted to the District Committee for Planning. The Purple Line will run through four neighborhoods. The line will form an east-west axis across the city and is to pass through the neighborhoods of Kiryat Yovel, Malcha, Pat and Katamonim, all neighborhoods that are undergoing urban renewal processes. The length of the line is 4.5 km. and includes eight stations. The line will cross the other light rail lines – the Red, Green and Blue lines. The government approved a budget of more than NIS 13 b. to complete the planning and implementation of the Blue and Purple light rail lines, including complementary projects that will improve accessibility to light rail stations. The continuation of the Purple line which is planned to enter the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood is in the planning process and has not yet been submitted to the District Committee for Planning. With the approval of the project, the District Committee for Planning noted that it is an important link in promoting the mass transit system and giving priority to promoting public transportation as the preferred means of mobility in the city.

 The Jerusalem light rail.  (credit: ARIEL ZANDBERG)
The Jerusalem light rail. (credit: ARIEL ZANDBERG)
No money, no honey

The Jerusalem Municipality has joined the ongoing protest across the country regarding the salaries to be paid to performers on Independence Eve. Following the refusal of several cities to pay the high demands of some of the singers and to cooperate with the excessive prices, Safra Square has joined the trend and decided that the cost of most of the performances on the eve of Independence Day will be about NIS 40,000 and only for special and some unusual performances will it reach up to NIS 100,000. The musical events for that event will take place in some 20 neighborhoods in the city.

COVID-19 hits onward

According to recent figures released by the Health Ministry, since the outbreak of the pandemic about two years ago, 1,100 Jerusalemites – of various ages and health background conditions have died of the COVID-19 and its complications. This number represents about 12% of the deaths from COVID-19 across the country. In total, since the outbreak of corona almost two years ago, more than 300,000 of the city’s residents have contracted the virus; according to the ministry, 9,183 verified COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the country.

While Jerusalem leads by a considerable margin in the number of verified deaths to COVID-19 from other cities in Israel, (compared to Tel Aviv with 412 verified deaths from COVID-19) it should be noted that, according to data from the Ministry of Health, the vast majority of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 in Israel are aged 60 and over – 8,302 out of 9,183 as of last week. Data updated on Saturday, February 5 at 9 p.m., show that there are 26,772 verified with COVIV-19 in Jerusalem this week, with the percentage of positive tests being 38%. The city is defined as red, but the Jerusalem Municipality in cooperation with the Health Ministry is continuing to carry out vaccinations and tests throughout the city in the coming week.

PCR testing complexes: 

  • Sportek Cedars Valley (drive-in): Sunday-Thursday, Saturday 10 p.m.-8 a.m. and Friday 2 p.m.-8 a.m. 
  • Jabal Mukaber – (drive-in): Sunday-Saturday 4 p.m.-8 a.m. 
  • Sheikh Jarrah, 25 Mount of Olives St. (drive-in): Sunday-Saturday (inclusive) 9 p.m.-1 p.m. 
  • Har Homa, 7 Shaul Avigor St. (on foot): Sundays-Thursdays 11 p.m.-4 p.m. and Friday 2 p.m.-8 a.m. 
  • Gilo, 1 Sabar St. (on foot): Sundays-Thursdays 11 p.m.-4 p.m. and Friday 2 p.m.-8 a.m.

Ready for love

Valentine, the Christian saint, was a vicious antisemite and responsible, among other things, for the murder of more than a thousand Jews in medieval France, but nowadays he is linked with the ideal of love. So Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14 across the world and in Israel, is back. Hence, next week, the Israel Museum is planning a whole evening dedicated to love on Monday. Between 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., at NIS 90 per person and NIS 75 for subscribers and members of the Friends Association, attendees will get the following program: Yair Agmon, author of the book The Exes, invites the audience to an open conversation about mythological exes and broken hearts, followed by a dance workshop and a Latin party, an Mashu Mashu Theater short comedy performance, and a Flamenco Song of Song: a New and feminine interpretation of the biblical scroll – a contemporary encounter between Jerusalem and Spain, between East Mediterranean and West Mediterranean, and more.

Freedom now

Tzur Hadassah is striving for independence and has launched an extensive field campaign in the locality of the Jerusalem mountains, to be recognized by the Ministry of Interior as an independent locality, disconnected from the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. Last Thursday, the campaign kicked off with the locality committee launching a broad public campaign demanding a fair distribution of budgets before deciding on the separation. More than 100 signs were hung throughout the locality and also in the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council expressing support for the separation, but only if the decision includes a fair distribution of budgetary sources that ensures Tzur Hadassah’s economic strength. Tzur Hadassah is the largest locality in the country that is not a local council and has about 13,000 residents. Recently, a meeting of the residents of the locality was held with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked; at the end, the minister stated that she was promoting a plan to separate Tzur Hadassah from the Judean headquarters.

Where have all the bottles gone

According to data released by the Environmental Protection Ministry, since December 2021, no less than 1,176 consumer inquiries have come from all over the country for refusal to accept 7,792 bottles. The treatment of bottles and enforcement is carried out by businesses. While the amount of such inquiries and complaints is rising across the country, it turns out that the highest percentage of complaints is about businesses in Jerusalem that refused to return deposit fees. Following far behind are businesses in Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh.