The Town Plan Scheme 11555
December 28, 2009

The Jerusalem Municipality's Town Plan Scheme 11555 (TPS 11555) is attempting to seize 70% of land in Silwan in order to put it under the complete control of the municipality's District Committee.  The neighborhood of Wadi Hilwah is made up of 548.5 dunams of land, 18.7 of which is residential and includes the area between the houses and settlement property.

The project would like to assign 8.14% as land for grave sites, meaning a space that equals half of the area that is now for the use of the living population. It would asign 9.6% for streets and roads, 1.7% for public buildings, and 2.4% for religious buildings. This means that since the neighborhood already has one mosque and one church, the scheme is planning on building at least one synagogue.  That means that the remaining 70% is to be confiscated for the benefit of the Jerusalem Municipality, District Committee, Antiquities Authority, and would be made into parking lots, corridors and open land for the use of the settlement organization and tourists. If the plan is successful it would achieve what the Elad settlement organization has not fully achieved through its policy of displacing residents of the Wadi Hilwah neighborhood by the seizure of land and misleading educational programs.

The main object of the project is to expand the excavation and protect of the area, and transform the entire area into a tourist site without regard for the interests of the Palestinian residents who make up a majority of those living in the area.

The Elad settlement organization has hired project-based architect Moshe Safdi with what has been seen as a bribe of $90,000, to head the architectural planning of the project. This project has been misleadingly publicized as having taken into account the interests of the Palestinians living in the area, but we at the Wadi Hilwa Information Center, along with other less biased groups, have seen that the project was conceived to transform the Silwan area into the so-called City of David.

see all maps of the Town Plan Scheme 11555:

see also the Channel 2 report -Elad Funds municipality plans: