Dog resting in burial cave
Dog resting in burial caveCourtesy of Dan Ilouz

Jerusalem City Council Member Dan Illouz told Arutz Sheva about a disturbing phenomenon: stray dogs on the Mount of Olives that deter would-be visitors from arriving.

Illouz says he received inquiries from visitors who documented and reported the stray dogs. As a result, he contacted officials involved in the preservation of the Mount of Olives and received "pictures of dogs walking between the tombstones and of a dog that had entered one of the burial caves" from them, as well.

"It is not only a matter of respect for the dead in the Jewish people’s most important cemetery, it is also important for people to go there and, as long as there are such phenomena, people will be afraid to come," said Illouz, who added that he turned to the mayor with a query about the issue, but that the answer he received worried him even more.

"Last Thursday, I put a query to the mayor on this issue. He said they have been working on the issue for a long time and that's what is worrisome, because if this is the reality despite the attempts to resolve it, it means the solution is not working."

"The solution has to come from the municipality. The question is whether we will use the power we have in this area as the sovereign on the Mount of Olives to deal with this problem as well as we did with stone-throwing and tomb-destruction," said Illouz, noting that when it comes to residential areas, the authorities know how to handle packs of stray dogs.

In response, the Jerusalem Municipality said: "The issue is familiar to the municipality. The municipal professionals have been dealing with the issue for several months."