JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is carrying out a major development plan to strengthen its claim to Jerusalem, The New York Times reported.
The $100 million, multi-year plan to develop religious and national heritage sites just outside the Old City is designed to strengthen Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel, according to an article in Sunday’s Times.
The plan includes clearing away waste-strewn areas and turning them into parks that include signs that mark significant chapters in Jewish history.
Ir David, a private organization that also is working to buy up Palestinian land in eastern Jerusalem for Jews to live, is a partner in the plan, according to the Times.
The plan was approved in 2005 and became operational in the last year, according to the report. The program, which is sponsored by the Prime Minister’s Office and the mayor of Jerusalem, did not engage in any form of public discussion, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Sunday.