Shepherd Hotel destruction put on hold after appeals are made – Israel to finish works on wall isolating Jerusalem this year

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Shepherd Hotel destruction put on hold after appeals are made

[ 17/01/2011 – 11:12 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jerusalem’s Planning and Construction Committee has issued an injunction order temporarily freezing demolition and rebuilding works on the site of the Arab-owned Shepherd Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah, until the legitimacy of the permit to build there can be decided.

The hotel compound was acquired by the city and sold to Irving Moscowitz, a US entrepreneur known for settlement development work in East Jerusalem. He began working last week on a project to build 20 housing units on the site before eventually linking it with another nearby Jewish settlement.

The injunction order was issued after the Palestinian Islamic Council filed a petition to the planning board’s appeals committee through Arab attorney Qais Nasser.

The appeal claimed the development firm that received the building permit was constructing on land that had historical value, belonging to the family of late Jerusalem Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini.

Nasser argued that the permit was based on a report describing Husseini as a Jew-killer and linking him to the Nazi party.

No changes can be made to the Mufti’s hotel, because it is a very old building and must be preserved according to law and planning and construction regulations, Nasser said, adding that a Jewish settlement cannot be built in Sheikh Jarrah before being presented to the public, who would then have the chance to object.

Nasser also called the move a violation of international law.

Israel to finish works on wall isolating Jerusalem this year

[ 17/01/2011 – 05:46 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli army announced construction should be finished on a wall surrounding the city of Jerusalem in a about a year.

The wall, dubbed “the Jerusalem envelope”, is set to isolate the holy city from neighboring Palestinian communities.

According to the plan, approved by the army’s Deputy Chief of Staff Yaif Naveh, works will continue on the structure’s remaining central points in the villages of Kalandia, West Shuafat, and Mount Gilo in an area not exceeding 20 kilometers.

The wall was planned to be completed three years ago, but legal objections presented by Palestinians curbed building.

The Israeli army’s Central Command said construction permits will be ready in the next few months.

The barrier will be majorly effective in Jerusalem’s security, the army said. It is designed to block “illegal” entry of people into Jerusalem and 1948-occupied territories.

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