Friday, January 6, 2012

Jerusalem Continues to Reduce Gaps in Arab Neighborhoods

The inauguration of the first post office in Issawiya, Jerusalem is a landmark event, which follows an intensive year of infrastructure upgrades in Arab neighborhoods. Improvements in Issawiya include:

*Upgrading entrances to the neighborhood *Paving roads *Installing speed bumps throughout the neighborhood *Installing supporting walls and safety fences

*Upgrading roads and fixing damage *Improving drainage systems *Adding garbage cans *Installing new streetlights

Mayor Nir Barkat participated in a tour and ribbon cutting ceremony in the Issawiya neighborhood of Jerusalem on Wednesday, 04.01.12. Wednesday's dedication followed a year of unprecedented upgrading of the infrastructure of the neighborhood, with the maximum adjustments to the needs of the residents. In the framework of the tour, the first post office in the neighborhood—with 1,050 mail boxes—was inaugurated, followed by the unveiling of the sign of the newly named "Al-Madras Street".

Throughout the current administration, the municipality of Jerusalem has worked to improve the quality of life for Arab residents of Jerusalem. Under the leadership of Mayor Nir Barkat, the municipality explored practical solutions for postal services in Arab neighborhoods. A suitable and accessible post-office building was located and renovated with financing of the municipality (NIS 17,000). The "Israel Postal Company" supplied 1,050 mail boxes. The post-office will be operated in coordination with local Community Administration.

Mayor Barkat: "I'd like to thank local officials for understanding the importance of opening a post office in Issawiya for the benefit of all residents. Today we are naming and dedicating the first of 86 roads that were, up to this point, unnamed. There is much work left to be done, but what we have accomplished together thus far is nothing short of exceptional."

Mukhtar Darweesh thanked Mayor Barkat for his visit to Issawiya: "I am happy that you came to dedicate the new street, new school, and improved roads of Issawiya. We thank you for the cooperation, for serving our residents, and for helping to improve their lives."

The post office in Issawiya represents one example of the revolution in postal services begun by Barkat. Besides the renovation of the building and establishing a post office in the neighborhood with municipality financing, a post office has also been opened in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood and in the future, a post office will be opened in the Ras-al-Amud neighborhood. The reopening of the post office in Abu-Tor is underway.

In 2011, significant infrastructure improvements took place, including upgrading the eastern and southern entrances to the neighborhood, the installation of supporting walls on Munir Hassan road, safety fence installation, repairs to the asphalt of the sidewalks and the installation of road bumps. The Department of Sanitation improved drainage, added 2 large retention pools, replaced 10 garbage cans and added 6 new ones. The Illumination Department at the Municipality Improvements Section installed 17 new streetlights and the Maintenance Department repaired holes and paved several roads.

Mayor Barkat said of the upgrades to the Issawiya neighborhood: "It is our duty to invest in the Arab neighborhoods of the city and to reduce the gaps that are a result of decades of neglect by the government and the municipality. We will not accept a situation in which residents of Jerusalem do not have decent roads, mail, and other basic services. These investments improve the quality of life of Jerusalem residents and the results can already be seen, felt and heard."

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