(IsraelNN.com) Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren was summoned urgently to the State Department over the weekend to hear that Israel must stop a private construction project in its capital. The project is being carried out at the site of the Shepherd Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah, near the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.
The owner of the property, since 1985, is Dr. Irving Moskowitz, who has built other projects in eastern Jerusalem – most notably the Maaleh HaZeitim neighborhood in Ras el-Amud, below and to the south of the Temple Mount.
The new project currently calls for the construction of 20 apartments. It took 20 years to receive the necessary permits, which were received only three months ago.
Oren Takes Tough Stand on Jerusalem, Concedes in Judea/Samaria
Oren reportedly took a tough stand against the American “orders,” but at the same time implied that the Americans do have a say in Judea and Samaria. “Jerusalem is not the same as Judea and Samaria,” Oren told the Americans, “and Israel builds in eastern Jerusalem just as it has been building in the Aravah [northern Negev] for the last 40 years. Israel does not agree to stop this construction.”