Jerusalem business owners claim that, despite the expected holiday period economic boom, the tension in the capital is killing its businesses.
"I'm barely holding onto my business in Jerusalem," an owner with several branches in the city told Arutz Sheva. "This period is supposed to be a great time, but the intimidation in the media is driving the public away from Jerusalem. There's no tourism. No domestic tourism and no foreign tourism. Every time there's a new headline or event, it keeps people at home."
"There's a big tradition of coming to Jerusalem on the holiday and praying by the Kotel," he continued. "But people are afraid. They think Jerusalem is a terror-stricken city. Especially around the Kotel. I have lots of friends in the center of the country, and they all tell me that they won't go to the Kotel this year because of the security tension."
Abir Nassee, the head of the Jewish Quarter Merchants' Association, expressed his concern over the fate of businesses around the Old City. "I went through through the first and second intifadas here, and I don't remember a time that was so hard. I haven't sold anything for four months, yet I pay almost a thousand dollars per month in arnona (property tax). I don't see any consideration from the Ministry of Tourism or the Jerusalem Municipality," he told Army Radio.
"I call on the mayor and the minister responsible for Jerusalem affairs to take the reins and do what they can until the situation changes. They say that Jerusalem is a unified city? Jerusalem isn't united."