Gazelles Halt Development Plans in Jerusalem
Yesterday, Benjamin Netanyahu announced a partial settlement freeze in the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership says it does not go far enough particularly as Netanyahu has repeatedly gone out of his way to insist that there is no deal to be done in East Jerusalem – an area which is now the main hurdle to a resumption of talks. Israelis will continue to build neighbourhoods – their opponents call them settlements – in disputed areas.
However, this story suggests the Palestinians may be missing a trick.
Three does are all that remain of the famed herd of 25 native gazelles that once lived in Emek Ha’tzvaim ("Gazelle Valley"), in the heart of Jerusalem. But yesterday, after a public struggle lasting nearly almost a decade, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Council gave final approval to a plan aimed at ensuring the does’ future and enabling the repopulation of the herd. The council rejected the claim by two nearby kibbutzim, Ma’aleh Hahamisha and Kiryat Anavim, over the land and voted to leave it as open parkland.
So, if you want to stop the building… first find your gazelles…