Ehud Barak, Israel Defense Minister, Criticizes Jerusalem Plan To Demolish Palestine Homes
Over at Huff Po
"JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister on Tuesday criticized the approval by a Jerusalem planning body of a plan to raze 22 Palestinian homes in the disputed eastern part of the city to make room for an Israeli tourist center, saying it lacked "common sense" and "a sense of timing."
Ehud Barak is in the United States for talks with the Obama administration and his statement comes after the U.S. State Department criticized the plan to build shops, restaurants, art galleries and a large community center on the site where some say the biblical King David wrote his psalms.
Mayor Nir Barkat’s office rejected the defense minister’s comments, saying the plan would rehabilitate a neglected section of the city and that he wants to build thousands of apartments for Arab residents.
U.N. spokesman Richard Miron, however, called the Jerusalem’s municipality’s decision worrying.
"We will be reminding the Israeli government of its responsibilities, and ensure that provocative steps are not taken in the city, particularly at this fragile time when the goal must be to build trust and support political negotiations," he said."