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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘construction’

Snide Remarks from State Dept. Over Jerusalem Housing Plans

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The United States has — again — expressed its strong disapproval over the latest plans to build badly-needed housing in an overcrowded Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The district planning and building committee today (Monday, Nov. 3) approved 500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo section of Jerusalem, an area built after the 1967 Six Day War. The State Department slammed the move, calling it “unfortunate” and “illegitimate.”

A week ago, the prime minister’s office approved plans to build 600 new housing units in the same neighborhood, in addition to 400 units in Har Homa, another post-1967 neighborhood in the capital.

Washington said at that point that Israel was taking steps that were “not conducive to peace in the region and a two-state solution.”

The State Department expressed “deep concern” over plans for what it called “settlement construction” in Jerusalem, in a loud echo of the anger bellowing from microphones in the Palestinian Authority.

But none of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem even faintly resembles a “settlement” and there is nothing remotely agrarian or rural about any of them.

Nevertheless, while meeting with U.S. officials in Washington, PA spokesperson Abu Rudaineh called today’s housing approval a “direct challenge” to the Obama administration” in a clear attempt to provoke the U.S. into attacking Israel.

A spokesperson for the far left ‘Peace Now’ organization eagerly aided and abetted the effort, telling the AFP news agency the approved housing units in Ramat Shlomo would “expand” the neighborhood’s existing “settlement.”

To put this all in perspective, please note that the average Israeli residential high-rise in Jerusalem’s Romema neighborhood, not far from the Central Bus Station, is built with eight to ten floors and features two or four units on each floor. So we are talking about the equivalent of perhaps a dozen to eighteen high-rise buildings – maybe double that if they are smaller. An addition of two streets, maybe.

This is called “expansion” of a “settlement?” Really?

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki underlined the sharp disappointment of the Obama government with the decision in her news briefing, claiming that Israel had no interest in peace with the Palestinian Authority because the housing project had been approved.

“Obviously, if they were going to restart a peace negotiation we would be seeing actions,” she said. “Actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

Oddly, she made no mention of the Palestinian Authority unity government’s violation of the cease-fire agreement on Friday night, by allowing Gaza terrorists to fire a rocket at southern Israel. The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council district but did not injure anyone and did not cause property damage.

For some strange reason, Psaki and her boss have not considered the multiple violations of the cease-fire that have taken place since August to be ‘actions’ that signal the Palestinian Authority has no interest in “restarting a peace negotiation.”

A thinking person targeted in a rocket attack or some other form of terrorist violence (such as a shooting, rock attack or firebombing) might actually think that “actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

No?

Liberman and Ariel Compare Recent Events

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Liberman (L) speaks with Israel’s Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel during a cornerstone laying ceremony for a new Synagogue in the community of Nokdim in Eastern Gush Etzion, on October 23, 2014.

Nokdim is Liberman’s home town.

This is what we think they spoke about.

US Complains It Was Not Notified of Israel Sukkah-Building Frenzy

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Originally published at PreOccupied Territory

[Editor's Update: We thought it was obvious, but apparently not... this blog post is SATIRE.]

Washington, October 8 – Aides to US President Barack Obama expressed displeasure today over not being informed of plans to assemble tens of thousands of makeshift residential structures over the last week in Jewish communities in areas both Israel and the Palestinians claim.

The huts mostly consist of wood panels, or of metal frames holding up canvas walls, with reeds or palm leaves as roofing. Satellite images and eyewitness reports alerted the Obama administration of the flurry of new construction activity, all of which appears to be taking place within the boundaries of existing Jewish communities in those contentious areas. The structures are apparently functioning as additional living space, as the inhabitants of those communities have been observed transferring tables, chairs, beds, and even rugs into the booth-like structures.

The administration stopped short of actively rebuking the Netanyahu government over the construction, as the effort has the hallmarks of a grass-roots initiative and not an officially sanctioned building spree of the kind that has infuriated White House officials in the past. In fact, hundreds of thousands of such structures have been hastily built over the last week even within the pre-1967 lines, indicating broad popular support for the initiative. However, Obama aides did communicate the president’s concern over any kind of development on land claimed by Palestinians for a state.

Another factor contributing to the administration’s muted response is the unlikelihood that the structures have been approved by Israeli government authorities. The addition of the booths  - or, in many cases, simply the covering of an existing walled patio or terrace with the reed or leaf roofs – almost certainly constitutes a zoning violation wherever it occurs, and in the White House’s assessment the Israeli authorities are almost certain to inform the residents of their obligation to dismantle the structures.

“We’ve had a few cases of a similar nature even in the US,” said a White House staffer speaking on condition of anonymity. “We’ve had groups of Jews, sometimes entire communities, building these temporary structures that are in clear violation of building codes, zoning designation, and other municipal approvals necessary for the erection of such entities. People complain about it, the town or city gives the owners a couple of weeks’ notice to take down the structure, and they comply. At this point we’re going to assume the same process will play out over in the West Bank, though I imagine they’ll have some difficulty notifying every single homeowner right away.”

“It always seems to happen this time of year, too,” mused the official. “I wonder if there’s some way to predict the phenomenon?”

[Editor's Note: This blog post is SATIRE.]

Netanyahu Slams ‘Peace Now’ Sabotage Over Jerusalem

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has slammed what he called a “deliberate” attempt by the leftist Peace Now movement to sabotage his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

The group publicly recycled stale news about a Jerusalem housing project in the southern part of the capital that had already won its initial approval in 2011, with its final processing and approval signed last week. Such projects are frowned upon by the international community, including the United States. The news “leak” was timed to coincide with Netanyahu’s meeting at the White House.

“This is irresponsibility on the international level – for some element to publish a statutory plan in order to sabotage a very important meeting that dealt with the Iranian nuclear program, our basic security questions and Islamic State (ISIS),” Netanyahu said in an interview with Amit Segal on Israel’s Channel 2 News, to be aired after the Yom Kippur holiday.

The announcement of 2,610 new building tenders in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos neighborhood was greeted with a harsh condemnation by the State Department, which labeled the project “poison.” Spokesperson Jen Psaki claimed the new homes in southern Jerusalem would “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations, and call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, meanwhile, also slammed ‘Peace Now’ for its attempt to sabotage the prime minister’s meeting at the White House over the issue, and underscored the group’s foreign ties. Peace Now, a worthless organization whose budget mostly comes from foreign sources, leaked the news the same day as the prime minister’s meeting with the president of the United States in order to poison the atmosphere,” Katz charged.

Likewise, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat rejected the condemnations and instead said the construction in the holy city was “essential, important and will continue with full force.” He added that he will “not freeze construction for anyone” in Israel’s capital. “Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country,” Barkat said.

“[The] 2,600 apartments in Givat HaMatos that we approved two years ago will enable more young people from all sectors and religions to live in Jerusalem and build their future here, thereby strengthening the capital of Israel. We will not apologize for that.”

Hundreds March Against Murder of Recent Israeli Terror Victim

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

BAT YAM – Five hundred people gathered on Wednesday evening, October 1, in a demonstration of support for the family of Netanel Arami, who was killed in a suspected Palestinian terror attack two weeks ago. The family, together with hundreds of supporters from across Israel marched from Netanel’s parents’ home in Bat Yam to the police station in a call to locate the murderers and bring justice to the terror victim’s family.

Arami, 27, was killed at a Petach Tikva construction site when the rappelling cable holding him at the 11th floor of a building somehow snapped and he fell to his death. While his death had been previously reported as a work accident, Israeli police on Tuesday said that the married father of two may have actually been killed in a terrorist attack.

“This was no work accident. Netanel was known as an expert in the field. He was very strict and safety was always first for him,” Arami’s brother stated.

Following the lifting of a court-sanctioned gag order, Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building. Police opened the murder investigation after noticing that the cable supporting Arami had been deliberately cut. At the time of Arami’s death, Palestinian workers were reported to be the only other people in the vicinity of the construction site.

Organizers of the Wednesday evening demonstration, which included the participation of Members of Knesset and other public figures, stated that Israeli police did not act appropriately in response to Arami’s murder. “We expect the Israeli police to protect the victims of terror but we feel that they have not responded accordingly. Unfortunately, the Israeli police have a history of covering up terror attacks,” said Yehuda, one of the organizers of the demonstration.

Moriyah, Netanel’s wife, who is expecting their third child, described her husband as a caring father to their two children. “He was a loving and caring father; he had no enemies and he worked hard to support our family,” she said.

“Now our son asks, where is dad? What do you answer a boy who is two-years-old? I tell our son that dad is watching over us from heaven,” she tearfully said.

Netanel’s mother, Miriam, told Israeli media that the murderers went after her son simply because of his heritage. “Netanel was killed because he was Jewish. I am asking the government to put an end to this slaughter. No one knows who will be next – it can’t be that a man goes to work and doesn’t return home.”

“We knew that our son was murdered from the beginning – Netanel was properly certified and professional as a construction worker,” the mother explained. “We want the murderers to be caught and punished harshly in order to prevent future tragedies like ours.”

Thousands of New Homes Approved for Jerusalem Arabs

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The Jerusalem municipal building committee passed a development plan Wednesday that calls for construction of 2,200 housing units for Arabs in the Arav al-Swahara neighborhood.

The plan allegedly includes restrictions on building sizes, and the residents are referred to as those in a ‘village.’

Mayor Nir Barkat supported the move, saying, “The planning of neighborhoods … by the Jerusalem municipality is a clear expression of Israel’s sovereignty over every part of the city and the unified strength of Jerusalem.”

An order from the Jerusalem District Court was required in order to bring the plan to a vote. It was repeatedly blocked by council member Aryeh King, head of the Israel Land Fund, and Bayit Yehudi party member Mati Dan.

Turkey Promises Housing Aid to Gaza

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Turkey has promised to send 3,000 new pre-fabricated houses to Gaza, although it is not clear how or when they will be delivered.

The announcement was made by Palestinian Authority unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who was quoted by Voice of Israel public radio. The houses, which are easy to assemble, are intended to replace those destroyed in air strikes by Israeli fighter jets aiming at concealed rocket launchers and weapons storage sites.

The PA unity government prime minister said an international donor conference may also meet in Oslo on September 5 to discuss the issue of rebuilding Gaza.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkey-promises-housing-aid-to-gaza/2014/08/10/

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