Although the City of David is part of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, it is administered by settler organization Elad, which seizes Palestinian property in Silwan to establish new settlements. The group effectively functions as an arm of the Israeli government, and the government permits Elad to conceal the names of its major donors. Israeli settlement watch group Peace Now reports that in the last two years, Elad has stolen ten Palestinian properties in Silwan, including three apartments in April 2018.
Regev’s pledge to expand the City of David’s activities supports government plans to destroy evidence of Palestinian history in the Old City, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, the Mount of Olives, Ras al-Amud, Musrara and Mamilla and build tourist sites that peddle messianic justifications for Israeli colonization. This year, the government escalated its confiscation of Bab al-Rahmah Cemetery, a centuries-old Muslim cemetery outside of the Old City, in the name of incorporating it into the Jerusalem Walls National Park. In 2017, the Jerusalem municipality published a plan to confiscate 1,300 square meters of land next to a mosque in Ras al-Amud to build a visitor center for the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery. Perhaps the most well known example of Israeli destruction for the purposes of tourism is the building of Independence Park and the Museum of Tolerance in Mamilla. Both are located on what was once the Mamilla Cemetery, which, historian Rashid Khalidi has written “is reputed to have become the burial place of several of the Prophet Muhammad’s Companions who died during or after the nascent Muslim state’s military campaigns in the region.”