Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama met in the White House for 90 minutes, against the backdrop of an ongoing diplomatic crisis in the wake of an announcement of Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.
Just before the meeting, reports surfaced of yet another controversial construction project approved in the eastern part of the capital, this time in Sheikh Jarah. PM Netanyahu entered his meeting with Obama without being aware of the new building permit. Officials at the PM’s Office declined to comment about the issue for the time being.
Just like his last visit to Washington, the meeting at the White House did not include photo opportunities or a press briefing following the session. The White House had no immediate comment on what was discussed by the two leaders in the Oval Office. YNET NEWS
Another project for construction of 20 housing units at the Shepherd Hotel compound in eastern Jerusalem received the final bureaucratic approvals Tuesday and construction could begin at any time.
The project involves restoration of the British and Jordanian-era building in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, next to Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood which has also seen a renewed Jewish presence and recent controversy.
The Shepherd Hotel was originally built as the home of Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the leader of Jerusalem’s Muslims who became an ally of the Nazis. The building was built in the 1930s for the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-[Husseini], who was a leader of the Arab Palestinian movement in the 1920s and 1930s and of three waves of riots during this period.
When the British Mandate government deported him, the building was confiscated and turned into a military outpost for the British Army. At the end of the period of the British Mandate, the building was transferred to the ownership of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which expanded the original structure without affecting it, and the building served as the Shepherd Hotel. Following the Six Day War, the hotel became the property of the Government of Israel. It was used by the Ministry of Justice and as a district courthouse. ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS