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2 Apr, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Hotel Opens on Site of Islamic Council Building

JERUSALEM, April 2, 2014 – (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities announced Wednesday the opening of a Waldorf Astoria branch hotel, part of the Hilton chain of hotels, which manages the Waldorf brand, on the site of the Supreme Islamic Council building in West Jerusalem, said Al-Aqsa Foundation of Waqf and Heritage in a press release.

The foundation stated that the construction of Waldorf Astoria hotel, which is located opposite from Maˈman Allah cemetery, was commenced on the ruins of the Supreme Islamic Council building, which was demolished except for its facades that are utilized for tourist attraction purposes.

The foundation considered the seizure of the site of the Council building and the construction of the hotel on its ruins as a seizure and Judaization of an Islamic waqf that comes as a part of the overall Judaization of Jerusalem.

The old building was built in 1929 on the initiative of the Mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, and designed by Turkish architect Nahas Bey in the Islamic architectural style.

In 1936 the building was seized by the British mandatory authorities and turned into administrative and military offices. In 1948 it was seized by the Israel under the Absentees’ Property Law. It used to house the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade until 2003. Three years later, it was purchased by Reichmann, a US Jewish tycoon, for $20 million.

Reichmann announced later his intention to transform the building into a luxury hotel, which came as part of the ‘Mamilla project; ‘Alrov Mamilla’ project is one the largest Israeli construction projects in Jerusalem.