Old City street sign with Arab name
Old City street sign with Arab name Israel news photo

Jerusalem officials have changed the names of several streets in parts of the Old City from Hebrew to Arab names, despite the law that requires notice before renaming streets.

A street called “Beit HaBad,” the Hebrew name for an olive press, now is “Mufti Road" (Islamic official), and "Sha’ar HaPrachim" (Gate of the Flowers) now is known as "Darwish Road" (Healer, in Arabic). Residents who were acquainted with “Ma'aleh HaMidrash (Ascent to the House of Study) and Plugat HaKotel (Western Wall Platoon) discovered that these names have been replaced with Arabic descriptions.

Aryeh King, who manages the Office for Public Affairs in eastern Jerusalem, said he will demand that the City Council take down the new signs and return the original Hebrew names. He criticized authorities for wasting taxpayers’ money to make unauthorized changes in the signs.

Jerusalem officials say they are trying to discover who was behind the changeover.

Nationalist groups have charged in the past that officials are cooperating with the Palestinian Authority to create a de facto Arab sovereignty in the capital. They have documented land grabs by the Palestinian Authority, which also has deployed its own security forces in several Arab neighborhoods within the municipal district.