Mt. of Olives cemetery
Mt. of Olives cemeteryIsrael news photo: (file)

As the Maaleh Zeitim neighborhood grows and thrives, Arab rock-throwers step up their activity.

"One Jerusalem," working to ensure that Jerusalem remains united under Israeli sovereignty, commissioned the Kela Strategy and Research Institute to investigate the security situation in the Mt. of Olives area. Concentrating on Oct. '10, Dec. '10, and Jan. '11, the findings are that Arab rock-throwing has increased, and that the number of visitors to the ancient Mt. of Olives cemetery has slightly decreased.

The report concentrates on the entire area of the cemetery, Ras el-Amoud, Maaleh Zeitim (100 Jewish families), the three-family Beit HaHoshen, the Seven Arches Hotel, and Emek Tzurim.

The lion's share of the anti-Jewish Arab attacks are rock-throwings that target cars near – though not in – Maaleh Zeitim, though there have been incidents of Molotov cocktails. In October and December of last year, there were 35 and 32 attacks, respectively, while in January the number jumped to 45.

A caretaker at the Mt. of Olives cemetery -  where Jews have been buried for at least 2,700 years – says a slight drop in visitors has been noted of late. No one knows the precise amount of graves on the mount, but it is estimated at approximately 150,000.

The new neighborhood of Maaleh Zeitim has celebrated three major events of late, including a unique Torah scroll ceremony through local streets from the Western Wall. The neighborhood was officially dedicated last month in the presence of Cabinet ministers and Knesset Members, and three weeks ago, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the neighborhood’s new synagogue.