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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hussein's palace to be renovated by Jordan? UPDATE: Work halted

On Wednesday, I reported on an apparent land grab by the Wakf at Hussein's palace in Beit Hanina here in Jerusalem. Now, Maan reports that it's the Kingdom of Jordan which is behind the land grab. The King has apparently decided to complete his father's palace.
Jordan is renovating King Hussein's unfinished palace in Jerusalem, Hebrew-language media reported Sunday.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs is carrying out the work at Jordan's request, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.

Maariv said the Jerusalem Municipality was not informed of the plans for the building, which is located in occupied East Jerusalem.


According to Maariv, the deserted building is used by prostitutes and drug users.
So is the Jerusalem municipality (or the government of Israel) going to insist that they go through ordinary approval processes? Or is the government going to de facto give up its sovereignty over 'east' Jerusalem? What could go wrong?


Israeli authorities have halted work on the site (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
Illegal renovations of King Hussein’s partially built summer villa, whose concrete shell was abandoned following the 1967 Six Day War, were halted Sunday after workers began building a fence around the building last week.

The site, located north of Jerusalem and believed to be the site of King Saul’s ancient palace and the capital of the tribe of Benjamin, is an archeological park that belongs to the Israel Lands Authority. Like other politically sensitive sites, no work has been done on the site since 1967, to honor the delicate status quo.

Chaim Silberstein, the CEO and founder of Keep Jerusalem, notified the police and the Jerusalem municipality when he saw tractors and workers pouring cement at the site on Thursday. Silberstein regularly brings groups to the site for an educational tour of the Jerusalem boundaries.

“I went up to the manager, and I asked him what they were doing, and he said, ‘I work for the Waqf, this is our property, it’s too dangerous and we’re fencing it in,’” Silberstein told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.


Any renovation work on the building would require a permit from the municipality. The municipality told the media they had not issued any permits for the building.

“This is the site of the ancient Givat Shaul, it’s the second most important archeological site in Jerusalem after the City of David [near the Old City],” said Silberstein. “They are trying to remove Jewish connections and exert Palestinian sovereignty in east Jerusalem, and that’s not something we want,” he said.

Repeated attempts to contact the Waqf were unsuccessful.

According to Silberstein, who notified a bevy of right-wing activists and Knesset members of the illegal renovations, the renovation work was halted at the end of last week. Silberstein said in the future, he wanted to see the area renovated for tourists and archeologists.
This should be fun.... 'International incident' coming in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1....

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At 5:42 PM, Blogger Neshama said...

Is the King making aliyah? :-)

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Map and title search GIS info needed for this "palace" site...

Also, Neshama may have it right. First thing that crossed my mind looking at this post was that the King is preparing a bolthole into the realm of the IDF's protection... :)

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


If you go to http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2062668 one of the things that comes up is a Google map of Beit Hanina. If you click on it enough times to zoom in, you eventually get told... that they don't provide that level of detail.

Any Jerusalemite who lives in the northeastern part of the city knows how to find it. I know, that doesn't help much abroad.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

According to Maariv, the deserted building is used by prostitutes and drug users.

let´s protect these ppl. before any arab infringement into jewish rights to Yerushalayim

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The JPost also mentions the archeological significance of the site. I didn't know that till now.

Oh yeh. Let the Wakf maintain a historical site in Israel. How's that worked out for everyone so far?!

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Here's an inventory:


ENVI, Autodesk (because you can use it with AutoCAD engineering info- waterlines, gas lines, etc.), arcview... those were some of the standards in the past. But I'm sure your IT people have a slew of new and better ones. Whatever you use needs to interface internationally (e.g., compatibility). And it needs to possibly be a "political" GIS, running parallel (sharing some data) with the "municipal" GIS, used by the utilities and public works.

A grid of layers, year by year crossed with subsections of categorized entries. The banks now scan both sides of any paper checks deposited... so the GIS should link, list, etc. databases of jpegs (or whatever graphic files) of titles, bills of sale, letters with info or commitments re an area... While it may add hassle for some individual lots, I think it will cook the goose of the attempted confiscators (from the Jews, yet again!) re land ownership. The City of Jerusalem municipal govt has probably already done a bunch of the base work..

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Marisa said...

the land is owned by the king of jordan , and the Royal Palace in jordan have the all the paper work ,in regards to the king making aliyah , you dont need to in your home country , it is a million non jewish russians that needed to Aliyah .

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Marisa. The land was grabbed by Jordan. Other than the UK no other nation ever recognized Jordanian sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

The Hashemite midget family was placed into power by the British in the early 20th century, not by any historic mandate any time before that.

Jordan is Palestine. Not really but that's about the nicest thing one can say about the made up country called Jordan - another British invention.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Since the King has the bill of sale of who he bought that lot from, we can link it in our GIS database... or maybe the King Dad tried unsuccessfully to confiscate it from King Saul's progeny, kind of like the King Dad dug up the grave of our family ancestor buried on the Mount of Olives in 1890-something, just so he could put in a road... Respectful Confiscation. Marisa needs to let us know where the title paperwork is that s/he mentions. Have to do it quick so we won't have to suspect photoshopping... you know they can do carbon dating, ink analysis, etc., so the real documents should get out there for analysis.


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