Plan to expand settlements unveiled by Jerusalem activists

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The 15-point plan by the Jerusalem Forum includes building Jewish housing projects in the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood, in the City of David section of Silwan, and on the Mount of Olives next to the Beit Orot Yeshiva, in the A-Tur neighborhood.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Shmuel Meir (National Religious Party), who heads the Jerusalem Forum, came up with the plan together with Matti Dan of Ateret Cohanim, and David Be'eri of Elad — groups that promote Jewish settlement in Arab neighborhoods — and other forum members.

The plan also touches on other areas in addition to Jewish development — calling for the immediate closure of Orient House and 50 other Palestinian offices allegedly connected with the Palestinian Authority in the city, and the eviction of Palestinian security agents from Jerusalem.

"We have been preparing groundwork for years for the time when a government that truly supports Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people would come to power," Meir told The Post last Friday.

Meir said the plan, which includes a call for Israeli sovereignty to be expanded to include the West Bank towns of Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev and Betar, would be presented to Netanyahu this week.

"We already own much land and many homes in East Jerusalem, but have waited until now to take them over because of the former government's opposition," Meir said.

A major part of the plan is road expansion in East Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Forum is demanding the construction of the East Jerusalem beltway, linking the coastal plain with North Jerusalem, and a tunnel under Mount Scopus.

The plan also calls for the construction of the Har Homa neighborhood, the controversial project in southern Jerusalem held up for years because of Palestinian opposition and legal battles.

The neighborhood is aimed at creating a continual stretch of Jewish development between Gilo in the south near Bethlehem and East Talpiot east of Jerusalem.

Meir and the settlement activists also are calling for a tunnel under the Western Wall, held up for years because of opposition by Wakf, the Moslem religious authority that runs the mosques on the Temple Mount.