JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jerusalem’s planning board has revived a plan to redevelop an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood.
The board on Monday gave its preliminary approval to the plan, which would include the demolition of 22 Palestinian homes in Silwan to create an archeological park, as well as a new Palestinian neighborhood and a tourist center.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is championing the plan, which was delayed for four months following a furor over the announcement of the approval of housing construction in a haredi Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. The announcement during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden caused tension between Jerusalem and the White House.
Silwan, located just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, is predominately Palestinian.
The plan still has to pass two stages at the municipal level before going in front of a district committee.