JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a $90 million plan for the socioeconomic development of eastern Jerusalem with an eye toward reducing violence.
The plan approved Sunday will focus on increased security and police there.
It marked the first time that a comprehensive socioeconomic development plan will be formulated and implemented for eastern Jerusalem, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“One of the main goals of the plan that was approved is to bring about a significant decline in violence by means of integrated activity to reduce gaps in infrastructure, employment, education and social welfare and by boosting enforcement and personal security,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The plan presupposes a deep link between the scope and level of violence by the mostly Palestinian-Arab residents in eastern Jerusalem and the standard of living in neighborhoods there. Recent years have seen a surge in acts of violence and stone throwing in the eastern part of the city, as well as other activities with “nationalist characteristics.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and representatives of goverment ministries have held comprehensive discussions over the last several months seeking ways to deal with the dangerous situation in eastern Jerusalem.
The plan emphasizes the advancement of children and young people aged 10 to 35 — the age group most easily influenced to take part in nationalist activities.