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U.S. demands halt to hotel at E. J'lem wholesale market

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    U.S. demands halt to hotel at E. J lem wholesale market By Akiva Eldar Haaretz Last update - 02:48 02/06/2009 www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1089730.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2009
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      U.S. demands halt to hotel at E. J'lem wholesale market
      By Akiva Eldar Haaretz Last update - 02:48 02/06/2009
      www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1089730.html

      Washington is furious over the Interior Ministry's anticipated approval of a
      plan to build a new hotel in East Jerusalem, just 100 meters from the Old
      City's walls. The plan, which would see the demolition of a wholesale market
      and kindergarten, is slated to be approved today.

      In conversations with Israeli officials, senior American officials have made
      it clear that they want Israel to freeze all plans for expanding the Jewish
      presence in East Jerusalem, and especially in the Holy Basin - the area
      adjacent to the Old City.

      The regional planning and building committee for Jerusalem will discuss the
      plan today. It was submitted by the Jerusalem municipality, which owns the
      land on which the hotel is slated to be built, and the state-owned Jerusalem
      Economic Corporation, which will actually construct it.

      The site in question is in the wholesale market, just east of the
      Rockefeller Museum.

      The Interior Ministry's district planning office told Haaretz that it will
      recommend the plan's approval.

      The plan calls for a 200-room hotel that will be nine stories tall on its
      eastern face (where the ground is lower). It will also include a commercial
      building, which will be five stories tall on its eastern face, plus another
      three stories underground.

      The plan will require the existing wholesale market to be demolished, along
      with a Palestinian kindergarten.

      The hotel plan is only one of several proposals for expanding the Jewish
      presence in East Jerusalem. Another, which would involve evicting hundreds
      of Palestinians from King's Valley, on the outskirts of Silwan, was approved
      yesterday by the Jerusalem municipality's planning committee despite the
      opposition of the city's legal advisor, Yossi Havilio.

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