Bulldozers have demolished a hotel in east Jerusalem to make way for a new Israeli settlement, the latest in a wave of new buildings globally seen as an obstacle to the now stalled peace process.
The Shepherd Hotel was razed by three Israeli bulldozers, early on Sunday, as part of a plan to build a new settlement of 20 units in the heart of the occupied city. The hotel is located on the demarcation line between two Arab neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Wadi al-Joz. The site will not only divide the two neighborhoods but it will also change the aspects of occupied Jerusalem.
According to official documents, the hotel was owned by al-Quds Mufti, Haj Amin al-Hussaini, who was deported by the British rule in 1937. He later died in Lebanon in 1974.
The Israeli government has granted permission to begin work on the settlement, despite Washington’s opposition to it.
Israel’s latest move to proceed with the settlement project drew criticism from Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, on Sunday: “This disturbing development undermines peace efforts to achieve the two-state solution,” she said in a statement during an official visit to Abu Dhabi.
“In particular, this move contradicts the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties on the status of Jerusalem.”
Reporting from west Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid said that, “This has been a very big problem here.”
“Palestinians (are) pointing at this specific demolition as a perfect example of the unilateral steps taken by Israel to change the landscape and the ethnic balance of occupied east Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider the capital of their future state.”
The Shepherd Hotel project is funded by Irving Moskowitz, a Jewish-American millionaire and a longtime patron of Jewish settlers.
Excerpt, read: Israel Demolishes Historic Palestinian Hotel | Al Jazeera