Education Minsiter Naftali Bennett announces David Be’eri, the founder and chairman of the City of David Foundation, as one of the winners of the 2017 Israel Prize, considered the country’s highest accolade.

Also known as Elad, the City of David Foundation is an Israeli NGO that oversees the Ir David archaeological park in Silwan and is dedicated to facilitating Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem. In recent years it has helped several new Jewish neighborhoods or complexes which have sprung up in heavily populated areas of East Jerusalem, often accompanied by protests or legal challenges. Ir David itself houses about 50 families in a small community.

A newly purchased Jewish home in Silwan, October 2, 2014. (Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)

A newly purchased Jewish home in Silwan, October 2, 2014. (Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)

“The 50th year since the renewed unification of Jerusalem is an excellent opportunity to recognize the good work of David Be’eri, a modern rebuilder of Jerusalem,” Bennett says in a statement.

“For many years we dreamed, prayed and yearned to return to the city in which David dwelt and to rebuild it. David makes that dream a reality,” he adds.

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