The Jerusalem City Planning Committee announced this week that a new tourism centre and sewage facilities servicing Israeli settlers in the Ein al Daraj neighborhood of Silwan are scheduled for construction.
The scheme is spearheaded by settlement conglomerate Elad, which owns the majority of residential and tourism settlements throughout Silwan. The move was supported by the Israeli Antiquities and Parks Authorities and the Jerusalem Municipality. The plan comprises construction of a main tourism building covering 200 square meters, connected to two already existing, already annexed buildings. Sewage infrastructure exclusively servicing the center will be built. It is intended that the site become a new center of Zionist tourism in East Jerusalem.
The geography and its historical narrative have been carefully changed by settler groups, seeking to erase the centuries of Palestinian history and replace it with a story that fits with the religious arguments that uphold Israel’s expansion. One of the elders of Silwan’s community have commented that “God wouldn’t accept any holy ceremonies on stolen land or stolen water.”