A new settlement project in the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh entitles “Beit Al-Ein”
Wadi Hilweh Information Center revealed last Tuesday a new settlement project under the name of “Tourism Center in Ma’yan Hagionl” in the national park and near the City of David. The project will be implemented in the eastern side of the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh south of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Center was informed that the project will be implemented in the area of “Al-Ein” at the bottom of the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh on an area of 1200 square meters. It will consist of two floors and is called Beit Al-Ein and a museum about the Jewish history will be established which is a continuation to the “Kedem” project that is projected to be built at the entrance of the neighbourhood which is the area named “National Park” around the walls of Jerusalem. The Center pointed out that the project is governmental and is under the supervision of “Elad” settlement organization. The Jerusalem municipality announced that Al-Ein area will be changed from a public and open space to private; note that this area is designated for excavations for antiquities and a visitors’ center will be established underground. The occupation municipality distributed in the last few days flyers to seven families in Al-Ein area to inform them of the project to be implemented on their lands and gave them 60 days to object. These families live in 22 residential apartments on an area of 5 Dunoms and they are: Abbasi, Abu Mayaleh, Abu Sbeih and Abu Sneineh. Lawyer Sami Arshid said that he will be submit an appeal in the name of those affected from confiscating their land and pointed out that those lands are private properties of Jerusalemites. The Center confirmed that the settlement project will cause damages to the neighboring houses and properties in addition to the confiscation of wide area of land. The local organizing committee in the municipality requested anyone affected by the project to submit an objection within 60 days to the local committee in Jerusalem. According to the flyer, any objection should be handwritten and has an explanation of the reasons in order to be considered. The center denounced the racist settlement schemes that threaten the Arab and Islamic identity of the neighbourhood near the southern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque and pointed out that Elad organization lately confessed that the Jewish history doesn’t have any roots in that area. Wadi Hilweh committee appealed for the Palestinian Authority since it is a permanent member of the UNESCO and quickly react and prevent the implementation of the settlement projects especially that the international laws prohibits changing that historical and archaeological monuments in an occupied state. Eyad Abbasi, one of those affected, explained that the municipality crews handed him along with six other families a notice regarding the settlement project which will be implemented on his land. Abbasi explained that the settlers tried several times to buy the 2-Dunom land from his family for a large amount of money and “outrageous” offers. After failing to reach a deal, the land was classified as “green” and today they are trying to confiscate it and build a settlement project.