JERUSALEM (JTA) — Work on the construction of a Jewish housing project at the site of the Shepherd Hotel in eastern Jerusalem resumed following the dismissal of a halt work injunction.
An Interior Ministry appeals committee said Wednesday that work could continue on the site after rejecting a complaint filed Sunday with the Jerusalem municipal building committee by The Muslim Committee, a new nongovernmental organization that describes itself as seeking to preserve Muslim sites in Israel. Work was ordered stopped after the complaint was filed, pending Wednesday’s hearing.
Twenty new apartments for Jewish families are set to be built on the site in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by American Jewish billionaire Irving Moskowitz, who purchased the property in 1985. In 2007, Moskowitz proposed a plan to build 122 apartments on the site; he modified the plan to 20 apartments in 2009.
Palestinian and U.S. leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, have condemned the building of Jewish housing on the site. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office pointed out that the project is a private venture.