Amana moves its headquarters to east J'lm
As part of reinforcing the territorial contiguity of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem, the Jewish settlement movement relocates its main building to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; Amana's secretary general stresses its mission to further establish Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Amana that was established by Gush Emunim (Jewish Orthodox right-wing movement) has been striving for years to build additional Jewish settlements in the West Back and bolster the existing ones.
Until now Amana's headquarters operated in the neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol in Jerusalem. It was established after the 1967 Six-Day War and is located In the vicinity of east Jerusalem.
The plot on which Amana's new headquarters was built had been given to the right-wing movement 26 years ago for free by Jerusalem's former mayor Teddy Kollek who was actually affiliated with the Labor party.
The movement's new building is situated in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in adjacent to the national police headquarters and to some government offices.
Amana says the new headquarters will help bolster the territorial contiguity of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem.
The movement's main building is located near the Shepherd Hotel area, in which a Jewish neighborhood is planned to be established.
The Shepherd Hotel was initially founded for the Mufti of Jerusalem (cleric responsible for the Muslim holy places in the city).
In the 1980s, the hotel was purchased by a Jewish entrepreneur who planned to use the premises to build a Jewish neighborhood, which led to the eruption of an international outcry.
In 2011, the hotel was demolished in order to begin the construction works of the Jewish neighborhood. However, it took many years to complete the construction.
Ze'ev Hever (Zambish), Amana's secretary general and one of the most influential figures in settlement construction said, "This definitely strengthens the Jewish settlement in the area. We received this plot from Jerusalem's former mayor Teddy Kollek."
"Amana was the only one that accepted the initiative to move the settlement movement to Jerusalem. We were not in a hurry to build (our headquarters-ed) when we received the plot and began (promoting the move-ed) only in recent years," Hever explained.
He also stressed that Amana's purpose—establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank—would never change.
Attempts to bolster the Jewish settlements in the Old City and east Jerusalem are being made in recent decades. The initiatives to promote the establishment of further Jewish communities in the West Bank were met with fierce objection by the Palestinians as well as the international community.
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) who served in the past as the movement's CEO said that Amana's new building "constitutes a significant reinforcement to the (Jewish) settlement in east Jerusalem and the bolstering of the Jewish territorial contiguity in the area."