New Settlement Plan to Split Silwan in Two
A new settlement project in Silwan will see the Jerusalem neighborhood split in two parts, a Silwan committee official revealed to Ma’an News on Thursday.
The new development plan is set for 5 dunums of land, some of which incorporate the Silwan valley, a fertile area situated southeast of the Old City walls, a spokesman for the Land and Real Estate Defense Committee said.
Fakhri Abu Diab, head of the Committee, noted that the development for the zone would include the construction of public buildings, a complex of swimming pools and leisure areas. He also said he disclosed the new plan would involve the demolition of 30 homes, eight of which are in the Silwan area, and another 22 nearer the spring. Abu Diab warned saying after the demolitions “settlers will be in full control of the area.”
The area, also known as the Valley of Jehosaphat or Kideron Valley, includes a spring, identified as Job’s Well. Its name originates from a passage in the Quran stating that a spring burst forth where God commanded Job to stamp his foot. The spring is estimated to be over 100 meters deep.
Earlier in 2009, Jerusalem municipality announced plans to demolish more than 20 houses in Silwan, near Ayin Silwan, a spring and water resource for the community, transforming the neighborhood into a park, the King’s Garden.