A session to discuss the objections of the locals of Silwan and merchants to the “cable car” project
April 9, 2019


Wadi Hilweh Information Center / Silwan said that the National Committee for Planning and Building has appointed a session to "hear the objections of the residents of Silwan and merchants of the Old Cityof Jerusalem on the “cable car” project. The session was held on 15:30 Wednesday the 10th.

The Center added that the "National Committee for Organization and Building" will hear all the objections submitted against the project within four days set to be in the next two weeks.

Lawyer Sami Arshid, who submitted the objections, said that scheduling hearings to hear the objections is evidence of the acceleration of the Israeli authorities to finalize the regulatory procedures for approving the project.

Lawyer Sami Arshid had filed an objection last week against the "cable car" project, which is to be approved for implementation in the vicinity of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that lawyer Arshid presented objections to the "air train / cable car" project in the name of dozens of residents from the village of Silwan, especially from the residents of the houses that the project passes above their homes, and from the owners of land and houses that the occupation authorities intend to confiscate.

The center added that the lawyer Arshid also submitted objections on behalf of dozens of merchants from the Old City, as the project affects the commercial traffic in the area.

Lawyer Sami Arshid, said that he has been following up the “cable car” project for years, which was derived from the "Special Structural Project surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem," which the Israeli authorities began to work on about 10 years ago. Last year, the “Jerusalem Development Authority” launched the “cable car” project in the vicinity of the Old City in partnership with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministries of Transport and Tourism, where the Israeli authorities consider that this project is part of the national projects of transportation to transport tourists to the Old City.

Lawyer Arshid added that the general plans for the “cable car” project were published. The National Committee for Planning and Building held an Israeli public conference in West Jerusalem on 13.12.2017 to hear the public's opinion on the project. On 28.10.2018, the National Infrastructure Committee approved the project and presented it to the District Committee to hear public concerns.

The lawyer added that on 14.10.2018, the National Parks Council approved the project. On 28/01/2019, the project was sent to the regional and local committees for public inspection and objections.

"The main objective of the project is to control the Old City and its environs and its surroundings," said lawyer Sami Arshid. "The project risks targeting some houses in the neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh, as well as the private property of citizens in Silwan, as well as properties belonging to Islamic and Christian religious institutions."

He added that consideration of these objections will take place within the next two weeks.

The center explained that the work of lawyer Arshid to represent the objectors came voluntarily to support the people of Silwan and the Old City who did not find any support.

In turn, the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood committee said: "The projects are increasing in Silwan in general and Wadi Hilweh in specific for being the closest to the wall of Al-Aqsa mosque from the south side. The governments and institutions of the occupation are making use of the enormous potentials and budgets aimed at consolidating the settlements, preparing the entrance of the alleged temple to the south, and create an area around the Old City entitled the “Holy Area”, in an effort to abolish and erase the Arab-Islamic heritage and historical epochs in the region.

The committee added that the settlement associations turned the Israeli municipality and official institutions into bias institutions that approve all kinds of settlement projects which will hardly leave the Palestinians a place to live.