Israeli settlers set fire to historical Petra hotel in O. Jerusalem
|Thursday, April 22,2010 10:20|
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, The Petra hotel caught fire after Israeli settlers celebrating the occasion of the occupation of Palestine fired firecrackers that fell on the roof.
Eyewitnesses said that the settlers, whose motives are still unknown, were in the "castle of David" inside the old city of occupied Jerusalem when they were firing their firecrackers.
They added that one piece of the festival rockets fell on the hotel’s roof leading to the burning of all rooms of the third floor of the hotel.
Hazim Saeed, the hotel director, said that the Israeli fire brigade was sent half an hour after the fire started and their delay led to the destruction of the roof, all rooms in the third floor, the electric and water networks, and the telephone service.
The Petra hotel is one of the oldest Palestinian hotels dating back to 1830. it also consists of 26 luxury classic rooms and is located in a sensitive site in front of the "castle of David."
In separate incidents, Israeli settlers from Ariel settlement on Tuesday evening attacked Palestinian cars passing at the road junction of Kafel Hares village, northwest of Salfit city and threw stones at them without any reported injuries.
Palestinian press sources also reported that hundreds of students of a religious school in Kiryat Arba settlement attacked last Sunday at noon the house of an elderly woman called Zainab Raheel in Yaffa city and cursed her threatening that they would expel the Arabs from Yaffa.
The students then performed Talmudic rituals in front of the house chanting racial slogans against the Palestinians.
Meanwile, Israeli minister of transport Yisrael Katz promised the settlers in Kiryat Arba settlement in Al-Khalil city to earmark 2.5 million dollars of his ministry’s budget in order to build a new road connecting their settlement with highway 60 and extending to the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The Hebrew radio quoted Katz as saying that the new road will help ensure the safety of more than half a million Israeli visitors to Al-Khalil city and will enhance the Jewish people’s relationship with the city.
For its part, the Hebrew radio said Wednesday morning that the Israeli municipal council in Jerusalem finished the planning stages of a major project linking the western part of the holy city with the eastern part through building a network of underground metros.
It added that the project will extend from Yaffa street in the west of Jerusalem to the Aqsa Mosque and will be carried out by a famous American company.
For his part, Dr. Abddulsattar Qassem, a professor of political science at Al-Najah university said that Israel may not be able to celebrate next year the 63rd anniversary of its establishment because of many regional changes and the new balance of power that tends to be in favor of the resistance forces.
In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC) on Wednesday, Dr. Qassem noted that any coming war waged by Israel would lead to its defeat, but without eliminating it completely.
He opined that the Israeli occupation is moving backwards while the resistance forces are growing in strength despite all obstacles placed by the West and the US.