Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli bulldozers yesterday demolished a wing of a hotel in East Jerusalem, preparing the ground for 20 homes for Jewish settlers. The destruction of the Shepherd Hotel, built in 1930, has sparked anger among Palestinians, who consider Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Israel: Palestine: Israel demolishes the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem. U.S. and Palestinians protest
Strong reactions from the Arab world: "Israel has ended the possibility of returning to negotiations." 20 homes for Israeli settlers to be built on site. Legitimacy of project disputed.
"By doing this, Israel has destroyed all the U.S efforts and put an end to any chance or returning to negotiations," said Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He added: "Israel has no right to build in East Jerusalem, or anywhere in the Palestinian Territory occupied in 1967." "We are very concerned for demolition of the Shepherd Hotel," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called the gesture "a worrying development that undermines the peace efforts."
Israel claims to have the right to build houses all over the city. The ownership of the land on which stands the Shepherd Hotel is contested. Israel says the land belongs to an Israeli-American company, but the Palestinians say that the hotel was taken illegally after the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. Approximately 500 thousand Jews live in more than 100 settlements built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem after the 1967 occupation. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, but Israel disputes this view.
Israel: Palestine: Israel demolishes the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem. U.S. and Palestinians protest | Spero News