Preserving Mount Heret

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

KKL-JNF is part of the  Coalition for Strengthening Jerusalem and for preserving the mountains that surround it.

The Coalition for Strengthening Jerusalem: Cancel Construction on Mount Heret

Photo: Yoav Devir
Organizations involved in the Coalition for Strengthening Jerusalem and for preserving the mountains that surround it are calling upon the Finance Minister, Moshe Kahlon, and the Housing Committee led by Avigdor Itzhaki, to cancel the Mevaseret Corridor plan for 3000 residential units and an industrial zone on Mount Heret near Mevaseret Zion.

The letter was submitted by the organizations, among them SPNI, KKL-JNF, Megama Yeruka, the Mevasseret Zion Local Council, the Matte Yehuda Regional Council and other public organizations, because “Mount Heret, which is right next to Mevaseret Zion and across from Sataf, is an invaluable link in the Judean Hills west of Jerusalem. The mountain has great natural value, and most of it is part of the preserved core of Jerusalem. There are remains of an ancient town on Mount Heret, which have long been landmarked, a natural spring and, next to it, the remains of ancient agricultural implements, and agricultural terraces with some of the most beautiful olive trees on the mountains of Jerusalem.”

According to extant master plans, most of the area of Mount Heret is supposed to become a national park pending bids, and the Mevaseret Local Council, in conjunction with additional authorities, is spearheading plans to rehabilitate it and turn part of it into an extraordinary park for the benefit of the public and of the environment, according to the letter.

In Mevaseret Zion the claim is that their land reserves can provide over 3500 promoted residential units in various stages that shall be actualized over the next few years. At present, a comprehensive master plan is being prepared for the community, which will determine its future character. The implementation stages of the development plans, and the radical changes required for its expansion, constitute a conceptual, social, technical and economical challenge for the town and its investors.

The Coalition for Strengthening Jerusalem is therefore demanding to remove the plan from the agenda of the Housing Committee, to prevent its recognition as a “preferred zone,” to enable promotion and approval of the Mevaseret Zion master plan, and to enable the announcement of the national park on Mount Heret and of the park planned for the benefit of the people and the environment.