Green Zoned Areas And Parkland Destroyed By Arabs In Central Jerusalem

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We all know how important are our green zoned areas, parks, gardens and open spaces for any and every resident. Urban planning and development has relied on such areas to give value and breathing space for all residents.

Gan HaMelech also known as Kings Garden is the valley east of the City of David, south of the Old City and Temple Mount and part of the Kidron Valley. It was the area spoken about in the Song of Songs. The area where King Solomon planted every conceivable tree and plant. It’s the border between Benjamin and Yehuda. Under the Turks, British and Jordanians this vital public green space and beautiful area receiving waters from the only Shlioach springs was free of any residential building.

Birdseye View of the King’s Garden

This was true until Arabs started to BUILD ILLEGALLY IN THIS GREEN ZONED AREA without regard to the urban space, without regards of timing or approvals – and simply to make a political statement and not accept the Israeli sovereign rule since 1967.

The disgraceful result is the destruction of the once beautiful valley and park area, due to 89 illegally built shabby structures-homes for Arabs and built by Arabs. Sadly, the Israeli authorities allowed the FIRST ARAB get away with his building and this let the door open to over 80 other illegal structures. (Much like never responding to the first missile from Gaza and then letting Hamas fire tens of thousands of missiles into Israel !!!)

Even the previous mayor of Jerusalem Barkat who initially claimed he would restore the old national park area – couldn’t handle the Arab riots and world pressure and backed down.He was prepared to retroactively approve 66 Arab homes and only destroy 23 illegally built homes and have a small national park. Since that declaration (like so many politicians) not one building was destroyed – until only now when the first building in Gan Hamelech was finally destroyed.

Wheels of truth and justice sometimes takes time. We are looking forward to a new beautiful Kings Garden to serve and be a useful blessing for both Jewish and Arab residents in the area of the City of David, the old Yemenite Village of Shiloach and Silwan. And it’s time to stop all illegal Arab building in Jerusalem.

Article by Daniel Luria

Daniel Luria is the Executive Director and International Spokesman for Ateret Cohanim. He is considered a global expert on Jerusalem, with a focus on urban land reclamation initiatives. he is a sought after speaker, guide, and informal educator in relation to his work in Jerusalem.

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