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New settler tourism and sewage facilities to be built in Ein al Daraj
Sunday, June 17, 2012 | 11:09
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Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) —

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.

Land seizure began in Ein al-Daraj in 1995, when settlers successfully had the area closed off for archaeological excavation and development. Local residents’ lives were thrown into disarray as the excavations blocked their access to the primary water source in the area, land used for agriculture and recreational areas for children. The area is now the exclusive domain of Israeli settlers and Zionist tourists.

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.”

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