World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli municipality authorities have approved a plan to build a Jewish museum and a major settlement project in the Wadi Helweh neighborhood in Silwan, north of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the city of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), according to a Palestinian legal center.
"They will build a settlement tourism center, dubbed Ma'ayan Hyogen, on a 1200-square-meter area in the eastern part of the neighborhood," the Wadi Helweh Information Center said in a statement.
"The tourism center will include a Jewish museum as part of the Israeli national park around the walls of the Old City," it added.
Ma'ayan Hyogen is an Israeli government project that will be implemented and supervised by the Eliad settlement organization, the center noted.
Center director Jawwad Siyam confirmed to Anadolu Agency that earlier this week the Israeli authorities had informed Palestinian families in the areas of Abu Sneneh, Abu Mayaleh Abbasi and Abu Sbieh in Wadi Hilweh that the settlement project would be built on their land.
"The families, who live in 22 apartments, have 60 days to challenge the decision," Siyam said. "Otherwise, the settlement project will be built on private property owned by local Jerusalemite families."
Salem Abu Sneneh, one of the landowners in question, confirmed to AA that Jewish settlers had repeatedly tried to purchase his land. "But we turned down their offers," he said.
"After the settlers failed [to buy the land], the municipality classified our property as 'green land' zones and confiscated it," Abu Sneneh lamented.
Palestinians accuse Israel of trying to "Judaize" the holy city, which they want as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
International law considers the West Bank and Al-Quds - captured by Israel in 1967 - to be occupied territories and views as illegal all Jewish settlement building on the land.
Palestinians insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian agreement can be reached.Last Mod: 20 Şubat 2014, 09:59