Amidst efforts to create a positive atmosphere for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel to discuss demolishing 22 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem.Last time Mitchell visited the region on May 20th of this year, some 56 members of Knesset in Israel signed a statement calling on the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to resume the construction in the Ariel settlement in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli “Planning and Construction Committee” will discuss, on Monday, a plan put forth by Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, to demolish dozens of Arab homes in Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported that Barkat vowed to Netanyahu to delay the plan in order to finalize negotiations with the owners of the homes. The residents confirmed that they were not approached by any official or by the municipality.
The plan aims at constructing an “Archeological Garden” in al-Bustan neighbored; the neighborhood contains 80 Arab homes allegedly built without a permit.
The municipality wants to demolish 22 homes and to transfer the residents to another area, an issue that was rejected by the residents as it violates their rights and violates international law.
The residents presented a plan that does not include demolishing their homes, Haaretz said, but the municipality rejected the plan and refused to hold talks with the residents.
The municipality will present its own plan on Monday without any changes and will submit it to the “Planning and Construction Committee” for approval.