‘The controversial plan to move the National Defense College to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is expected to pass another approval hurdle on Wednesday after a hearing.
The Jerusalem municipality approved the location after hearing public opposition.
The college, whose final location was first announced in February 2011, is awaiting approval from the Interior Ministry’s District Building and Construction Committee, as well as defense establishments.
The 42,000-square-meter structure of the college is planned for an open area between the Arab village of E-Tur and Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus. It is to be located within a few hundred meters of the Old City with a commanding view of the Temple Mount.
Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu (Meretz) said that the location is a “clear political goal.”
“Building an army college, especially over the 1967 Green Line, is very problematic,” Alalu said, adding that the site had been scrapped as a location for the Supreme Court due to the area’s sensitivity. He added that the massive underground parking lot, expected to reach five floors below ground, will bring hundreds of cars to the area and strain the limited road infrastructure, as well as blocking access to the Augusta Victoria hospital.’
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