Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, who monitors new building activities in the settlements, on her blog Eyes on the Ground in East Jerusalem:
The Regional Committee for Planning approved today the depositing of
plan no. 51870 for the construction of the Israeli Military College at
one of the most sensitive places in East Jerusalem: Mount of Olives.
Following this approval, the plan will be deposited for public review
and the public will be granted 60 days to file objections. After hearing
the objections, the plan can be approved and validated.
The plan is located near the Beit Orot Settlement and the Palestinian
neighborhood of A-Suwane, at the hilltop of Mt. of Olives. The plans
call for an 8 story structure, 5 stories of which will be built into the
ridge, with 41,480 sq. m. of built up space.
I believe that one can’t think of Mount of Olives as real estate. It
is important for the three monotheistic religions: the 3,000 years old
Jewish cemetery, is on Mt. of Olives, where the resurrection of the dead
should begin when the Messiah comes; A thin bridge will connect the
Haram A-Sharif and the Mt. of Olives at the end of the days, according
to the Islam; and for the Christians, the Mt. of Olives is a site that
connected with the life and the death of Christ, where he spent his last
days before the crucifixion, and where he ascended.
On top of all this holiness, Mt. of Olives is under dispute between
us and the Palestinians, and we will have to solve this dispute only
through an agreement. Bringing the Military Academy to this spot is
quite insensitive and if I may add, not so smart, of our Government.