The District Committee for Planning and Construction holds a special session to make a decision regarding the settlement project “Kadam”
April 5, 2014

The District Committee for Planning and Construction held a special session regarding the settlement project entitled “Kadam Complex- City of David- Old City” which will be implemented in the courtyard of Dung Gate south of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Lawyer Sami Arshid said that the District Committee for Planning and Construction in the Israeli Ministry of Interior held a session on Thursday morning to discuss the objections submitted by the residents of Silwan regarding the implementation of the settlement project which was proposed by Elad settlement organization and the “National Parks Authority”. This project aims at establishing a center for tourists and visitors which will be the entrance to the settlement outpost “City of David” in Silwan. The lawyer pointed out that the committee will make its decision regarding the project after listening to the objections of the residents of Silwan. He also explained that the District Committee submitted the above mentioned project and recommended to ratify it. The project aims at building a huge building which will consist of 7 floors at the northern entrance of Silwan and next to the Old City on a 16000 square meters area and is only a few meters away from Dung Gate and close by the southern walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque; note that it will be connected with Al-Buraq Square through a special tunnel. Lawyer Sami Arshid said that the Jerusalem municipality and local committee for planning and building have carried out serious and illegal violations in order to pass and ratify the scheme, and even the mayor of Jerusalem has personally requested the District Committee for Planning and Building to submit and ratify the scheme. It is noteworthy that excavation works are being done in the area for the past few months despite not ratifying the project yet and in the period where objections were submitted. Wadi Hilweh Committee- Silwan explained that the settlement project will be established on the lands of the residents of Silwan which were used as farms until Jerusalem was occupied in 1967. After the occupation, the Israeli authorities confiscated the lands and demolished two rooms that were owned by Abdo family and then turned it into a parking lot. In 2003, Elad settlement organization took control of the lands and started planning for the implementation of the settlement project. The Committee added that Elad organization will designate the “Kadam” building for scientists and the Israeli Antiquities authority in addition to building conference halls, educational rooms and parking lots for the tourists and settlers. Also, special area will be allocated for tourists’ purposes, commercial stores and an office for the settlement organization “Elad”. The Committee also explained that Elad organization has been doing continuous excavation works in the project’s area (the courtyard of Dung Gate) since 2003 and had demolished an Islamic cemetery that is 1200 years old in addition to damaging Roman and Byzantine monuments such as rooms, arches and poles and only left a few of them which they claim to be the “Second Temple Monuments”; note that part of the building will be designated to show those alleged antiquities. Wadi Hilweh Committee appealed for the residents of Silwan and the media to be present at the headquarters of the District Committee on Thursday during the discussion and listening to objections in order to influence the decision of ratifying the project because of its serious and negative effects on Silwan, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem since the Islamic and Arabic identity of the Holy City will be erased.