|The District Committee is scheduled to discuss tomorrow (Tuesday, July 21st) the outline plan for a large Yeshiva (religious school) and dormitories for its students in Sheikh Jarrah (TPS 68858).
The committee discussed objections to the plan in January this year and so tomorrow's discussion is likely to be the decisive one for final approval of the plan. The reason for the long delay from January lies in the fact that the general outline plan for sheikh jarrah designates the area of plan 68858 for "public buildings for the service of the neighborhood's residents". A Yeshiva of course does not fit that designation. Sheikh Jarrah – like all East Jerusalem neighborhoods – suffers from an acute shortage of classrooms. It has no municipal run elementary school. Despite that fact the Jerusalem municipality has informed the District Committee that is supports the plan for the Yeshiva.
If approved the Yeshiva and its dormitories will be a significant boost for the settler initiatives in Sheikh Jarrah. Today, nearly 75 Palestinian families are under threat of eviction by settler organizations or the Israeli General Custodian. Already some ten settler families live in homes taken over from evicted Palestinian families.
The advancement of the Yeshiva plan was frozen for many years. With the change in American policy under the Trump administration it was renewed in 2017 along with several other settler projects and the renewal of evictions in the neighborhood.
The settlements in Sheikh Jarrah are part of the growing ring of settlements around the Old City which can be seen in the map below. The Yeshiva plan is number 1 on the map.