‘Dig’ will avoid filming in eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, NBC says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — NBCUniversal assured the Palestine Liberation Organization that it will not film an upcoming television series in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood.

The series, “Dig,” will be produced by the Israel-based Keshet Media Group and co-written by Gideon Raff of the popular U.S. television series “Homeland.”

About six weeks ago, Keshet and the Jerusalem municipality said the series would be filmed in the City of David National Park and the adjacent Silwan neighborhood.

Following the announcement, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi called on NBC not to film the movie in the city, saying it would “legitimize the annexation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the authenticity and character of the occupied city.”

Cory Shields, executive vice president for communications for NBCUniversal, wrote Dec. 20 in a letter to the PLO General Delegation to the U.S., “There was no plan made to film the series in the City of David National Park or in the village of Silwan, furthermore, location scouting and planning will not begin until February 2014, and any decisions regarding possible production sites will be made with respect for all concerned parties.”

Silwan has been a flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem, where 400 Jews live among 31,000 Palestinians.

The series reportedly will be broadcast in the United States at the end of 2014, and will be filmed using Israeli and American actors. It deals with an American FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who uncovers a conspiracy while investigating the murder of an American archaeologist.

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