JEWISH INROADS IN MUSLIM QUARTER
From the roof of his home just inside the Old City walls, Palestinian landlord Nasser Karain has a view of the valleys and plateaus where scriptures say Solomon built the first Temple, Jesus was betrayed and Muhammad rose to heaven.
A new landmark may soon rise next to his family compound.
The Israeli government is funding the first construction of a Jewish settlement in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter since taking control of it nearly four decades ago. The Flowers Gate development plan calls for more than 20 apartments and a domed synagogue that would alter the skyline of the Old City.
Karain’s property is at the center of an accelerating campaign by Jewish settler organizations to change the ethnic and physical character of this city’s oldest Arab neighborhoods. The Israeli government is financing projects that dovetail with the settlers’ goals, which they say are to secure the Old City and an adjacent valley for Israel in any final peace agreement with the Palestinians.