Press release from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior announcing plans to construct a military college on the Mount of Olives

The press release in Hebrew, from 2 July 2012,  can be found here.

In English, it reads:

‘State of Israel, Ministry of Interior.
The IDF Colleges building in Jerusalem

The District Planning and Building Commission for the Jerusalem District in the Ministry of Interior has approved on 2 July 2012 the building plan for the IDF Colleges, on the ridge between the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus, west of the Nahal Tzurim national park. The plan will now be deposited for receiving objections from the general public.

The plan in question is for constructing a building to house the IDF Colleges, including the National Security College and the Staff and Command College, at a site previously allocated for the Supreme Court building, eventually constructed in the Government Compound in Jerusalem.

The plan [i.e. the site] is located near the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University and offers an opportunity for urban development, both on the academic level and through integrating a young, academically productive population into the city’s population.

The persons who submitted the plan have examined additional sites in the city to locate the Colleges building at. However, the site that was eventually chosen is the optimal one, in view of its proximity to the university on the one hand and the possibility to contribute to the life of the city on the other.

The proposed building is to span a total area of about 42,000 square meters, in a stratified low manner [i.e., it’s divided into several levels, and the building is not meant to be tall], and offers a small part of the build-up area as visible area above ground and most of it underground [i.e., the building will be mostly underground, with a few floors above ground]. Locating most of the uses in the building underground is made possible due to a large inner yard, lower than the ground levels outside the plan’s area [don’t ask me what exactly they mean by that]. Other features of the plan are the planning of the building as an environmentally-friendly building, the preservation and moving of old trees and the planting of new adult trees that would integrate into the mountain landscape.

Dalit Zilber, Jerusalem District Commissioner at the Ministry of Interior and the Chair of the District [Planning and Building] Commission, pointed out that the presented building [plan] offers a modest and proper approach to the landscape values of the site [i.e., it’s not supposed to stand out too starkly from its surroundings] on the one hand and a programmatic response to the needs of the Colleges on the other hand. Building the IDF Colleges [building] in the city is a central stage in consolidating Jerusalem’s status as the centre for national government institutions, in accordance with the policy regarding the strengthening of the city, as detailed in NOP 35 [National Outline Plan 35, which is the current legal guiding document for all planning in Israel] and in the DOP 1/30 [District Outline Plan 1/30 – the equivalent document for the Jerusalem District].

As part of its decision, the Commission has also mandated that in view of the great sensitivity of the site, the detailed building [plan] shall be brought forward for approval to the District Commission at the permit stage.

Plan created by: Eli Illan, Architect.’

Many thanks to Sergeiy for the translation.

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