Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — Silwanic has learnt that Jerusalem mayor Nir Barakat intends to demolish parts of al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan in the lead up to city elections. The demolitions will form part of the overall City of David plan that will see the establishment of “biblical gardens” aimed at Jewish tourism over large areas of Palestinian-majority Silwan. Palestinian residents of Silwan have long suffered under the coalition of the Jerusalem Municipality and Elad settler association in their bid to dominate the strategically significant area of Silwan.
Barakat has been attempting to court the extreme right-wing vote amongst Jerusalem’s Jewish population, a sector which strongly supports the City of David project. The Barakat administration has also attempted to gain favour across the political spectrum, in forming a coalition with the Miretz Party of the opposition, and appointing Me’er Margaleet to the post of East Jerusalem issues
Palestinian residents fear that the threat to al-Bustan is just the tipping point. “The demolition of al-Bustan is only the beginning. Other neighborhoods will follow” says one resident of al-Bustan.
Should al-Bustan be removed, the City of David project in adjacent Wadi Hilweh district will then turn to Jabal al-Mukaber to expand the project. The end game is to surround Jerusalem’s Old City with 11 “biblical gardens” connected with Jewish settlements, achieving a ring of Jewish residency around the contested Old City, isolating Palestinian neighborhoods. The plan’s realisation would spell a massive increase in settler numbers in East Jerusalem and the virtual death of hopes of Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Tantur Faroun in Silwan (hidding facts )
(silwanic.net / 13.09.2011)