12 Jul, 2015
Claiming to preserve Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists wreck Palestinian heritage | The Electronic Intifada
In an administrative building buried deep in the spaciously built suburbs of West Jerusalem, the latest phase of a long-standing struggle over a corner of land in the heart of the city concluded last week. Israel’s National Planning Committee has overseen an appeal by several bodies who oppose the further expansion of the powerful settler group Elad’s control over archaeological sites in Silwan, a congested Palestinian neighborhood located just meters away from al-Aqsa Mosque and the walls of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem.
With the blessing of the authorities, Elad plans to build a giant new visitors center on top of an excavation site. Elad (a Hebrew acronym for “To the City of David”) is a private organization that has become the de facto administrator of some of the most controversial archaeological sites in Jerusalem. Elad was founded in 1986 with the explicit goal of removing Palestinians from East Jerusalem and settling Jews in their place. It accomplishes this by providing assistance in the purchase or seizure of Palestinian properties.