Japan Condemns Israel's Demolishing Parts of Shepherd’s Hotel in East Jerusalem

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Japan condemned the demolishing of a part of the Shepherd’s Hotel in East Jerusalem for constructing new housing units, and urged Israel “to refrain from any unilateral act that could change the existing conditions of East Jerusalem.”

Seiji Maehara, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said in an official statement that Japan "does not recognize any unilateral measures that prejudge the final resolution on pre-1967 borders, nor does Japan recognize the annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel.

Ambassador Yutaka Iimura, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East, who was in Israel, has already informed Israeli Government officials of Japanese views, according to the statement.

Japan has been strongly encouraging both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides to focus on the goal of a two-state solution, which is important not only for the Middle East but also for the international community as a whole; to act in such a way that mutual trust will be developed; and to continue efforts for peace tenaciously, the statement said.

Palestinian Al-Husseini family, reportedly the "rightful owner of the hotel," categorically denied that it made any deal to cede Shepherd hotel in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and affirmed that the building "was seized illegally and for political reasons by the Custodian of Absentee Property, Israeli official circles, and millionaire Irving Moskowitz."

A spokesman for the family told a news conference in Jerusalem recently that the family "would continue to defend its ownership of the building and the land surrounding it by legal means, affirming that the Israeli government sold the hotel to Moskowitz."

The Jerusalem center for social and economic rights warned that “Israel's settlement schemes are aimed at changing the features of the holy city, tearing apart the Palestinian presence there, isolating the Arab neighborhoods adjacent to the Old City from its surrounding and turning them into Jewish areas."

PanOrient News

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