Ras al-Amud

Ras al-Amud

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Ras al-Amud is a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 neighborhood in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

, located southeast of the Old City, overlooking Silwan
Silwan
Silwan or Wadi Hilweh is a predominantly Palestinian village adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem. In recent years a small Jewish minority of 40 families has settled in the area. The village is located in East Jerusalem, an area occupied by Jordan from 1948 until the 1967 Six-day War and by Israel...

 to the south, Abu Dis
Abu Dis
Abu Dis is a Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate, bordering Jerusalem. Abu Dis is due east of the Jerusalem municipal border. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of approximately 12,100 in mid-year 2006.-Ottoman era:Abu Dis was one of the...

 and al-Eizariya
Al-Eizariya
Al-Eizariya or al-Izzariya , sometimes referred to by its medieval name of Bethany, is a city in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, it is the second largest Palestinian city in the Jerusalem Governorate , with a population of 17,606 inhabitants.Located on the...

 to the east, and the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 (known to Arabs as Haram ash-Sharif) to the north. There were about 11,922 Palestinians living in the neighborhood in 2003.

Maale HaZeitim


Ma'ale HaZeitim is a Jewish settlement on the outskirts of Ras al-Amud. A century ago, the property was purchased from the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 government by Nissan Bak and Moshe Wittenburg, who, in turn, transferred the land to Jewish seminaries in 1928. The seminaries leased to Arab farmers for the purpose of raising wheat for the production of Passover matza.

During the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem, the land was administered by the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property. In 1951, an Arab tenant farmer was successful in having the Jordanian Land Registration Office re-register the property in his name, but litigation to reverse the re-registration was ongoing when Jordan lost control of East Jerusalem in the Six Day War in 1967. Following the war, the seminaries pursued the case in Israeli courts until 1984, when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in their favor. In 1990, the seminaries sold the land to a Jewish American, Irving Moskowitz
Irving Moskowitz
Irving I. Moskowitz is a Florida-based businessman who built a business running hospitals and legal gambling in California. He is the founder of the eponymous "Moskowitz Foundation" which was created "to help people in need regardless of race, creed, politics or religion"...

.

In September 1997, plans for the construction of a Jewish neighbourhood on the land provoked an international outcry. Despite American pressure to halt building in the area, the plan was backed by Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

. Under a compromise reached by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

, three Jewish families living in Ras al-Amud left the building voluntarily, with ten yeshiva students staying on.
Currently there are some 50 Jewish families living in Ma'ale haZeitim, with plans to double that number in the next couple of years.
Ma'ale haZeitim is a private neighbourhood, not belonging to any organization.

In May 2011, two demonstrations were held by the Solidarity movement, to protest the expansion of Jewish settlement activity in Ras el-Amud. The first took place during the dedication ceremony of a settlement, Ma'ale HaZeitim. The ceremony was attended by numerous officials, including members of Knesset, government ministers, and the mayor of Jerusalem,. The second demonstration was marked by unusual violence, with police using tasers on demonstrators who were staging a sit-in. Six protestors were arrested,.

Landmarks and public buildings


The Judea and Samaria police headquarters
Israel Police
The Israel Police is the civilian police force of Israel. As with most other police forces in the world, its duties include crime fighting, traffic control, maintaining public safety, and counter-terrorism...

, formerly located in Ras al-Amud, moved to a new building near Ma’aleh Adumim in 2008. The property was transferred to the Bukharan Community Committee, which owned the building before the Arab-Israeli War in 1948.

Transportation


On October 18, 2009, the Israeli bus cooperative Egged launched a bus route from Ras al-Amud and Ma'ale HaZeitim to Silwan
Silwan
Silwan or Wadi Hilweh is a predominantly Palestinian village adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem. In recent years a small Jewish minority of 40 families has settled in the area. The village is located in East Jerusalem, an area occupied by Jordan from 1948 until the 1967 Six-day War and by Israel...

 and the Kotel
Kotel
Kotel may refer to:Bulgaria:* Kotel, Bulgaria, a town in Bulgaria* Kotel Pass, a mountain pass in the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria...

, sparking protests that it was "normalizing" the increase of Jews in the neighborhood. The line was inaugurated in response to a request by the Transportation Ministry.

Archaeology


An archaeological excavation in Ras al-Amud prior to the construction of a school for Arab girls by the Jerusalem Municipality
Safra Square
Safra Square is Jerusalem's city hall public square named after Jacob and Esther Safra, parents of Edmond J. Safra, a Jewish philanthropist who contributed generously to the renovation of downtown Jerusalem.-Location:...

 found remains dating to the Middle Canaanite period (2200-1900 BCE) and the late First Temple period (8-7 centuries BCE), including a jar handle inscribed with the Hebrew name "Menachem."

In August 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood in the wake of damage to an ancient building while preparing a site for construction. Ceramic finds dating to the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 period included bowls, a cooking pot and a complete lamp. Glass vessels from the Late Byzantine–Umayyad period were also found. Fragments of ceramic pipes, a marble chancel screen and a stone table were recovered from the stone collapse and soil fills. The building is thus believed to have belonged to a Byzantine monastery.

External links