The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli daily, reported via their website on Tuesday that the State of Israel intends to open a new police station at the Mount of Olives, in occupied East Jerusalem.Israeli Public Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, told the Jerusalem Post that 25 police officers will be stationed at the new site from mid-February to increase security at the area, which has been subjected to occasional vandalism within the cemetery, and prevent “stone throwing”.
The Mount of Olives, which came under Israeli control following the 1967 Six Day War, was unilaterally annexed with rest of occupied East Jerusalem, despite the illegality of the move under international law.
The cemetery is part of the Palestinian neighbourhood of at-Tur, home to over 18,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and is the site of an estimated 150,000 Jewish graves.
It has been the subject of news reports in recent months due to the Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority have announced plans to build a nature park on land belonging to at-Tur and that of the neighbourhood of Isawiyah, including some which is privately owned by Palestinians.
Despite an appeal to the Israeli court system, which issued an injunction against work at the site pending the outcome of the appeal, work began on January 10 with the destruction of a road that links the aforementioned neighbourhoods.
The Israeli Nature and Parks Authority has claimed that the development of the park with prevent illegal dumping in the area and that no major construction is planned, only beautifying of the area.
This has been disputed by Israeli and Palestinian groups who have stated that the area has been marked for construction, and Israeli non-profit organization, Bimkom, have issued a report claiming that the intention of the park is to prevent the Palestinian residents of the area from expanding and developing their neighbourhoods.