A senior official involved in eastern-Jerusalem affairs told Arutz Sheva, Tuesday, that there is a boom in illegal booming which has not been seen in years near Sha'ar Haperachim (Herod's Gate) in the Old City of Jerusalem. He said Arabs began building three large houses in the area without permits during the just-concluded holidays of the Jewish month of Tishrei. Arutz Sheva has also learned that the members of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) were surprised by the extent of the construction and are angry at the Jerusalem municipality for failing to act in the area.
A resident of the Jewish Beit Haemet (House of Truth) in the Old City told Arutz Sheva that a police officer who responded to his complaint about a floor being added to a nearby building said it looked legal to him and left. An IAA representative expressed surprise but said he needed the police and the Jerusalem municipality. The resident said the Arabs mislead IAA representatives who ask for details on the construction. While the police did not provide escorts during the Jewish holidays, he rejected the city's claim that the Old City is a sensitive security area, explaining it can get police protection when it wants. The city has not yet responded.