This week in Jerusalem: Tshuva has an answer

A weekly round-up of city affairs.

 THE PIT’HAT Kidron Park in Wadi Joz. (photo credit: ARNON BOSSANI)
THE PIT’HAT Kidron Park in Wadi Joz.
(photo credit: ARNON BOSSANI)

Tshuva has an answer

The Yitzhak Tshuva Group will build an evacuate & renovate (pinui u’binui) project with 210 apartments in two towers of 16 and 30 floors on Ben-Zakai Street in the Katamon neighborhood. The company obtained the consent of the apartment owners in the existing complex, who signed evacuate & renovate agreements with the company. The plan to build the project has already passed the threshold conditions in the district committee and is in an advanced planning stage.

The project will include two- to five-room apartments, garden apartments and penthouses.

The plan proposes a developed commercial front facing Ben-Zakai Street and public areas on the ground floors of both buildings, with entrances from Ben-Zakai and Tuvia Ben-Hefetz streets.

For her name’s sake

The Jerusalem Municipality refused to name a square after Shulamit Aloni

Aloni died in January 2014 after decades of parliamentary activity in which she fought for human rights, against religious coercion and for improving the status of women. She established the Civil Rights Movement (Ratz), was the leader of the Meretz party, and served as a minister in several governments.


Streets have been named after her in Rishon Lezion, Kiryat Ono and Ramat Gan. However, , despite her connection to the capital, where she lived and worked for many years, the Municipal Names Committee rejected a proposal to commemorate her in the capital. The proposal was rejected by a majority of eight council members. The only two members who voted in favor were Laura Wharton (Meretz) and Deputy Mayor Yossi Havilio.

Rough road

Within one year, the number of car accidents doubled on Golda Meir Boulevard, dubbed a “Red Road” by police. While in 2021 there were 10 accidents there, last year there were 21 accidents between January and November.

The National Road Safety Authority said that safety on this major artery will increase as soon as there is light rail there. The length of the road is 12 km.

In 2019, there were 13 accidents on this road, of which nine were minor, three were serious, and one was fatal. In 2020, the year of the coronavirus and the many closures, there were nine accidents, all minor. In 2021 there were 10 accidents, of which five were minor, four were serious, and one was fatal. From the beginning of 2022 until November, there were 21 accidents, of which 15 were minor, and six were serious. 

Parks galore 

The investment of the Jerusalem Municipality and the government (through the Heritage Ministry) in east Jerusalem continues. Last Thursday, the Pit’hat Kidron Park in Wadi Joz was opened. The largest park in Jerusalem, covering an area of 12 hectares, it was nicknamed the Sacher Park of east Jerusalem.

The park includes a variety of attractions and facilities such as a bicycle path, a fountain and sports fields. Infrastructure has been prepared for the establishment of cafés, as well as picnic areas and public toilets.

The park was designed as part of the surrounding urban fabric. It is situated next to the future employment, hotel and housing complex planned for this part of the city, the “Silicon Wadi,” near schools that will be established in the area.

This is really good news for the residents of the Arab neighborhoods. The inauguration of the park is another big step in reducing the gaps between the city’s east and west.

“Every resident deserves the right to public areas for leisure and sports close to their home, and this park, the first of its kind, improves the quality of life and leisure hours of the residents,” declared Mayor Moshe Lion at the inauguration.

Efforts were invested to combine modern sports facilities with landscape development, while preserving the dozens of olive trees at the site. 

The following day, on the western side of the city, another launch of an outdoor facility was held. The totally renovated Valero Square was inaugurated, with comfortable seating, ornamental corners and a herb garden.

The square is located on the urban axis between the Old City and the Yitzhak Navon Train Station, amid a series of central complexes and squares – Safra Square, Zion Square, the market (Valero) square, and the Central Bus Station.

After nine months of work, the upgrading of the square was completed. It included incorporating wooden floors and spice beds; planting grass and trees; erecting pergolas and seating tribunes; installing decorative street lamps and street furniture; and building a unique water element, providing a new green lung in the city center. 

“It is  located close to a light rail station in a central, comfortable, shady and orderly location to sit with family or friends and enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the Mahaneh Yehuda market,” said the municipality.

In the same area, works were carried out to conceal a garbage compactor which services the market’s merchants and the residents of the area.

Valero Square is named after Haim Aharon Valero, who served as head of the Sephardi Community Council in Jerusalem between 1880 and 1912. He worked to provide housing for the city’s Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a member of the city council and the administrative council of the Jerusalem district during the Ottoman rule.

Man threatens worshipers, detention extended

Last Friday, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered to extend the detention of a man who entered a synagogue in the Ramot neighborhood on Thursday morning and threatened the worshipers. 

At the trial, when the police representative began to describe how the suspect entered the synagogue and threatened to kill the worshipers, the man began swearing, and Judge Bialin Elazar had to remove him from the courtroom.

The state representative said that there were more investigative actions to be completed, and thus requested the extension of his detention, adding that the state would not object to sending him for a psychiatric examination. The judge agreed with the request and extended his detention. The judge also determined that the suspect should be brought for psychiatric examination during the days of his arrest. ❖