Suspension bridge between Al-Thawri and the Morocc: Judaization in tourism garb Published: Mon, 12-February-2018

The Israeli occupation authorities have begun digging the main foundations of the suspended bridge, extending from Al-Thawri area south of the Old City of Occupied Jerusalem to the Moroccan Gate, and overlooking the lands of Wadi Al-Rababa in Silwan, under the pretext of facilitating religious tourism in the area known as ‘the Holy Basin’, with a total cost of six million NIS.

Fakhri Abu Diab, the spokesman for the Committee for the Defense of the Land of Silwan said that the construction work of the suspension bridge started last week to the north-west of Al-Thawri.

Abu Diab told the PIC that there are excavations to build the bases after the completion of the logistical arrangements, pointing out that this bridge is for pedestrians and tourism purposes, and it is the second in the area.

‘Religious tourism’

Abu Diab added that the Israeli occupation claims that the objective is to facilitate the movement of religious tourists (Jewish settlers and religious Jews) and foreign tourists from Al-Thawri area to the Moroccan Gate and the Buraq Wall and the Old City in particular.

Abu Diab pointed to the settler and biblical narrative the bridge promotes. He said: “The bridge’s goal is to promote the biblical narrative of settlers in Jerusalem in general and in Silwan and the Old City in particular, which is part of the Israeli cover plan for the Old City.”

It also aims, according to Abu Diab, to leave Jewish fingerprints in the area and change the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic landmarks of the city and impose a new de facto situation there, as part of a multi-track plan of projects.

Land confiscation

He pointed out that the bridge construction plan led to the confiscation of tens of dunums in Wadi al-Rababa area, which is part of the territory of Silwan, in a bid to change the landmarks in the area that Israel considers part of ‘the Holy Basin.’

He noted that the residents of Silwan suffer from a severe housing problem, poor municipal services and infrastructure, including the Wadi al-Rababa area of more than 220 dunums.

In addition to the mosque in Wadi al-Rababa area, all owners of houses received demolition orders from the Israeli municipality claiming that they did not obtain building permits, according to media spokesman Abu Diab.

He explained that the neighborhood of Wadi al-Rababa, which includes 34 houses and a mosque, are all subject to demolition by the Israeli occupation authority, which issued demolition orders against them, in preparation for the implementation of these projects and settlement schemes, proposed by the municipality and Israeli settler associations in Silwan and Wadi Al-Rababa, Wadi Hilwa and Saludaha neighborhoods.

Abu Diab stressed that there are many projects aimed at the displacement of the people of Wadi Al-Rababa and a large number of residents of the town of Silwan, adding that this area alone received more than 5,613 judicial and administrative orders to demolish houses and shops. If implemented, it will result in the displacement of more than 40% of the residents of Silwan, one of the largest neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa is the final goal

Abu Diab said that the goal of these Israeli policies is to empty Silwan of its residents because it is close to the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque from both the south and south-east sides, and because Silwan is the entrance to the tunnels dug by the settler associations and the official Israeli governmental institutions towards the Old City and Al-Buraq Wall.

He added that there are two tunnels, one was dug towards the Umayyad Palaces and the other was dug towards the Moroccan Gate, which are part of 26 excavations and tunnels dug towards the north: The Old City. “We do not know the direction of these tunnels and their exits and what these excavations are all about,” he said.

Abu Diab concluded that these projects are being imposed at an accelerated pace after the US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Source: Palestinian Information Center