In a conversation with Ynet on Tuesday, Hatem Abdel Kader, who holds the Jerusalem portfolio in the Fatah movement, said, "Nir Barkat will bear the responsibility for the conflagration that will occur in the city if his plan is carried out."
According to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's plan, 20 buildings scattered throughout the western section of the Silwan neighborhood will be demolished so that an archeological park can be built in their stead. In exchange, the evacuated buildings' residents will receive permits to rebuild up to four-storeys in the eastern section of Silwan.
Kader said that Israel is using the proposal to incite another round of violence in the area. "This is a much broader Israeli plan to drag us into a confrontation so that it will be able to evade its policy obligations. All the options are open, and if this is what the Israelis want, we will not run away from this confrontation, and this is what they will get."
Kader noted that the Barkat made this proposal to the neighborhood's residents in the past and was met with harsh opposition.
"He can and offered the divide the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan – to destroy some of the buildings and to build his parks. We, naturally, flatly rejected this. We will not take part in this plan. We will not evacuate and we will fight it," explained Kader.
Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi) came out Sunday in favor of Barkat, who also addressed the tensions surrounding the plan: "There should be no surprise at the hypocrisy of leftist officials regarding the enforcement of an egalitarian law. Do not be worried by the threats of violence. The King David Park is a historic heritage site that is worthy of being preserved and developed."
Roni Sofer contributed to this report