The Holy Basin project extends from the area of Wadi al-Rababa in the town of Silwan, passing through the Al-Bustan neighborhood and Wadi Hilweh in the town, then towards the Tantur Pharaoh area and the Jewish cemeteries on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.
Occupied Jerusalem – Every day, the occupation municipality and the settlement associations come up with new Judaization plans in Jerusalem. Perhaps the most dangerous projects are those that surround the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the historic Old City wall, including the “Holy Basin” project, parts of which are located in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and the occupation accelerated its Judaization after the families refused to live in the neighborhood. The settlement proposal put forward by the Israeli Supreme Court to cancel the decision to evict their homes in exchange for transferring them to protected tenants and paying them rent.
Israel announced the launch of work on the “Sacred” historical basin project in 1999, and implemented parts of it and is striving to implement the rest. In the town, then towards the area of Tantur Pharaoh and the Jewish cemeteries on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.
The area targeted by this project is about 2 and a half kilometers around and below the Old City, and the occupation is exploiting the religious issue to impose a political reality in the place, according to Al-Tafkaji.
According to Jewish legend, the Jewish cemeteries on the Mount of Olives are linked to the “Third Temple” in which the Awaited Messiah will descend, carrying it from heaven towards the Mount of Olives, and will enter it through the Gate of Mercy (one of the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque) to establish the Third Temple in the mosque.
The neighborhoods of Wadi Hilweh, Al-Bustan, and Wadi Al-Rababa are also associated with King David, who used to walk in the place in the past and write his psalms, and therefore the entire place must be Judaized in preparation for the establishment of the Third Temple, according to the biblical narration.
As for the tombs located in the Tantur Pharaoh area, they have nothing to do with the stories for which the “Holy Basin” project was launched, but they were inserted into the project as part of Jewish history, according to Al-Tafkaji, who confirmed – to Al-Jazeera Net – that the project and after announcing the end of all its parts would have come On the entire perimeter of the old town from the south and southeast.
Above and underground
The map expert added that in addition to Judaizing the surface of the land with this project, 3 tunnels fall into its framework and extend from the bottom of Silwan to the Old City, saying that “Israel claims that its history is older than what is found above the ground, so it continues with excavations and dumping of dust constantly, Considering that what is in the ground is its history and its property.
Despite this claim, the settler associations do not stop their attempts to control more real estate in the town of Silwan and intensify their activities in the neighborhoods of Wadi Hilweh and Rababa, which are targeted in the “Holy Basin” project.
The Elad Association and Ateret Cohanim are active in the town of Silwan, which is targeted with 10 settlement projects, some of which have been implemented and some are awaiting approval in the Israeli planning and construction departments.
The most prominent of the “settlement tourism” projects that enter the “Holy Basin” is the so-called “City of David”, a project that Israel is proud to receive about one million foreign and Israeli tourists annually.
This project was built in Wadi Hilweh, south of Al-Aqsa, and the occupation is trying to expand it by building the “Givati” car park, which consists of 6 floors and also includes a commercial center.
To connect west and east Jerusalem – so that visitors can reach the historical basin – the “air train” project will be implemented, which will transport tourists between the two parts of the city, and will mainly affect the neighborhoods of Wadi Hilweh and Wadi al-Rababa in Silwan.
As for the “air bridge” settlement project, which Israel claims is a tourist attraction; It will be 240 meters long and 30 meters high, and will start from Al-Thawri neighborhood, pass through the lands of Wadi Al-Rababa, and reach the Waqf Al-Dajani area, southwest of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Aerial paths, ground, public gardens and restaurants are included in this huge project with the aim of encouraging settlement tourism and bringing it to the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods.
Thousands of Jerusalemites are victims
The area of Wadi al-Rababa, al-Bustan and Wadi Hilweh neighborhoods targeted by the “Holy Basin” project is about 1030 dunums, and 7350 Jerusalemites live in it suffering from various narrow methods aimed at forcing them to migrate their homes and empty the neighborhoods for settlement projects and settlers.
Abdullah Maarouf – Professor of Jerusalem Studies at the University of “Istanbul May 29” and formerly responsible for media and public relations at Al-Aqsa Mosque – told Al Jazeera Net that the occupation considers the “Holy Basin” area to be the most sacred area in the Jewish religion.
Its sanctity in the Jewish vision stems from the fact that it is the area surrounding the Holy of Holies, which, when extremist movements, represents the rock inside the chapel of the Dome of the Rock.
He added that “the ultra-Orthodox groups in Israel are based on considering everything that surrounds this holy area a right or a holy area, and it should be completely free of the non-Jewish manifestations represented by the Palestinian presence today in the place.”