On July 31, 2015 the SFP initiated a tour of Jisr az-Zarqa. The tour took place in the framework of the change-agents course for urban planners, architects and civil engineers that the SFP is running together with the Center for Alternative Planning. For the thirty Arab and Jewish participants, this was the sixth meeting of the course.
We chose to visit Jisr az-Zarqa because a group of the course participants is working to improve the village’s expansion plan.
Zisr az-Zarqa is the only Palestinian village that remained along the coast since the 1948 war. It suffers from a very serious lack of housing and is unable to expand. To its west is the sea. To its south, residents of the affluent Jewish town of Caesaria have built a barrier. To its north are the fish ponds of Kibbutz Maagan Michael and to its east is a major highway.
The group of activists took part in a workshop for planners on the subject that was organized by Prof. Ayala Ronel of the University of Tel Aviv, who is working on the matter. Prof. Ronel and the town’s planner Mr. Yakub Jubran, received us and explained the situation to the course participants. We toured the site and after lunch discussed possible solutions. At the end of the meeting, the group members sat to coordinate their further work on the project.