UN accused of building illegal compound in Jerusalem

An Israeli advocacy group says a UN agency is building illegally in Jerusalem in a project that allegedly entails demolishing a historic structure.

By: World Israel News

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which is headquartered in Jerusalem and has offices in Beirut and Damascus, has been accused of illegally approving a construction project in a residential neighborhood in Israel’s capital.

An organization called Regavim has filed for an injunction to stop the project from moving forward, which would also involve the UN demolishing a building from the British Mandate era in Armon Hanetziv, the site of a deadly Palestinian truck-ramming terror attack at the beginning of the year that claimed four young Israeli lives.

Regavim alleges that the UN construction plan runs contrary to an agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UN Chief Antonio Guterres, reported Israel Hayom.

The Jerusalem District Court was scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday in a session during which Regavim planned to seek a stop-work order based on illegality of the construction and failure to obtain a municipal building permit.

While the State claimed that the stop-work order was unnecessary because of the purported agreement between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Guterres regarding the use of “practical dialogue” to resolve construction conflicts, TPS reported that Regavim spokespeople say that it appears that the agreement is not being respected.

“In complete contradiction to the government’s statement that it would be working in cooperation with the UN to regulate any ongoing and future construction projects at the Armon HaNatziv compound,” commented attorneys Avi Segal and Yael Cinamon, “the UN or those acting on its behalf are apparently continuing to do whatever they please on a site that has historical significance of the first order, and to build illegally, secure in the knowledge that the authorities will take no steps of any kind to stop their illegal activity.”