Jerusalem: Jerusalem`s mayor is moving ahead with a construction plan that would involve razing 22 Palestinian homes in the city`s contested eastern sector.
Mayor Nir Barkat says the plan will provide a much-needed facelift for Jerusalem`s decaying al-Bustan neighborhood, which Israel calls King`s Garden. He says the 22 homes, which were illegally constructed, will be rebuilt legally elsewhere in tiny al-Bustan.
But the Palestinians see the proposal to build a tourist center in al-Bustan as another effort by Israel to lay claim to east Jerusalem by cementing its presence there.
Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state.
The city`s local planning committee will be asked on Monday to approve the necessary rezoning.