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 Tightening the ring around the Old City Basin while advancing plans in the northern corridor of East Jerusalem


December 5, 2018

Old City Basin

The District Planning and Building Committee is fast tracking two Arieh King-promoted plans in the heart of the Um Haroun section of Sheikh Jarrah, where approximately 45 Palestinian families are living under threat of eviction. On December 23, the Committee will discuss objections to plans for two buildings that would necessitate the tear-down of existing buildings and the subsequent eviction of 5 Palestinian families. 

  • TPS 14029, for a building comprising 10 housing units, would result in the eviction of 4 families.
  • TPS 14151, for a building comprising 3 housing units, would result in the eviction of an additional family.

Advancement of these plans demonstrates the acceleration of new facts on the ground to tighten Israel's ring of control in and around the Old City, deepening tensions in the band of Palestinian neighborhoods outside of it. In Sheikh Jarrah alone, there are roughly 75 families at risk of eviction and in Silwan, just south of the Old City, approximately 85 additional families are at risk in Batan al-Hawa, site of a massive takeover campaign by the Ateret Cohanim settler organization.  Legislation enacted last month is anticipated to open the floodgates for settlement expansion in the Elad settler stronghold of Wadi Hilweh, where some 70 families have been evicted.

Roughly 2,500 radical settlers are now embedded inside the Old City and around its walls, primarily in the neighborhoods of Silwan, Ras al-Amud, A-Tur, Sheikh Jarrah. These groups enjoy institutional, financial, political and moral support from the state in executing their home takeover campaigns and carrying out the erasure of the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem through their management of key touristic settlement sites like the City of David. Along with national park planning, these trends are combining to enable an intensification and acceleration of messianic settlement encircling the Old City. 

The two plans in Sheikh Jarrah are being pushed by city councilperson and settler leader Arieh King, a close ally of Jerusalem's just inaugurated mayor, Moshe Leon. King has recently joined the new mayor at several public events and is said to be eyeing a deputy mayor position in the new administration.

Northern Perimeter

King also has aspirations in the heart of the northern corridor of East Jerusalem. On November 18, the District Committee approved for deposit of objections a plan for 150 housing units inside Beit Hanina. King owns 50% of the plot in question; the remainder is owned by a Palestinian company that has objected to the plan. Based on this distribution, if approved the plan would likely introduce about 75 new settler homes into the Palestinian neighborhood.

To date, most ideologically driven settlement inside Palestinian areas has been clustered in and around the Old City.

In addition to promotion of the Beit Hanina plan, Israel continues to deepen its control of the northern corridor of East Jerusalem:

  • On November 22, the District Committee approved a plan in Ramot (TPS 483354) for construction of 263 housing units that will extend the settlement east toward the Begin Highway and Ramat Shlomo. The designated area is located adjacent to the area zoned for ​​TPS 6576, where 750 housing units have been under construction for the last several years.
  • On October 23, the District Committee approved three plans in Pisgat Ze'ev for a total of 564 housing units:
  • TPS 330498 for 210 HU in an open enclave inside the built-up area of Pisgat Ze'ev
  • TPS 317149 for 250 HU that would expand "Pisgat Ze'ev West" westward towards Beit Hanina
  • TPS 330514 for 104 HU that would expand Pisgat Ze'ev east toward the Separation Barrier

As of today, a total of 5,820 housing units have advanced in the planning process in 2018, edging up to the record total of 6,431 in 2012. That year the UN vote on Palestinian observer state status precipitated a retaliatory spate of advancements that included approvals in Givat Hamatos.

Please address all inquiries to:

Betty Herschman

Director of International Relations & Advocacy

Ir Amim (City of Nations/City of Peoples)






Twitter: @IrAmimAlerts


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