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Cablegate: British Embassy's Note Verbale to Israel On East

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3088/01 2981141
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251141Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3840
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0530
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 8246
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003088

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
GOLDBERGER/SHAMPAINE/ROSENSTOCK/PECCIA; NSC FOR
ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL IS KPAL KWBG
SUBJECT: BRITISH EMBASSY'S NOTE VERBALE TO ISRAEL ON EAST
JERUSALEM

REF: A. TEL AVIV 03027
B. SECSTATE 141005

1. (SBU) Below is a the text of the Note Verbale the
British Embassy delivered to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign
Affairs regarding Shepherd's Hotel and Mufti's Grove in East
Jerusalem. The Note was passed to the Israeli Ministry of
Foreign Affairs on Friday, October 19, and provided to us by
the British Ambassador.


2. (SBU) (Begin Text)

NOTE VERBALE No. 106/2007

For the Attention of the Western European Division

Her Britannic Majesty's Embassy presents its compliments to
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel and
has the honour to acknowledge the Ministry's Note of 14 June
2007 concerning the Shepherd's Hotel, in response to the
British Embassy non-paper dated 1 May 2007.

The Embassy would be grateful for the assurance that no
planning application had been submitted regarding the
construction of a new complex on the site of the Shepherd's
Hotel near the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem.

The Embassy would be grateful if it could be notified of any
change in this position, and notes that any planning process
would include the opportunity for affected parties to raise
their concerns and objections.

By way of illustration of the security concerns mentioned in
the 1 May non-paper, the British Embassy notes that the
presence of other settlements in the area does not already
cause disruption to the Consulate-General, especially when
vehicle and people access to the area around the settlement
is restricted. In addition, there have been isolated
incidents of settlers throwing stones at Consulate-General
vehicles.

In this context, the British Embassy would like to express
concern about recent press reports and NGO reports that an
area of land opposite the Shepherd's Hotel, known as the
Mufti's Grove, has been expropriated on 1 April this year,
and that the Palestinian owners of the land are challenging
the expropriation in court. NGO sources have indicated to us
that the expropriation was carried out with the intention of
eventually using the land for a new settlement.

The British Embassy would be grateful if the Ministry could
provide clarification on whether this land has indeed been
expropriated, and their understanding of the purpose behind
such an expropriation. Should there at any stage be a
proposal for the construction of a settlement in the Mufti's
Grove area, the Embassy would be grateful for an assurance
that, as in the case of the Shepherd's Hotel, there would be
an opportunity to register concerns ahead of the granting of
planning permission. The British Embassy would also like to
reiterate its position of principle that all settlement
activity in East Jerusalem is illegal under international
law.

Her Britannic Majesty's Embassy avails itself of this
opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
the State of Israel the assurance of its highest
consideration.

BRITISH EMBASSY
TEL AVIV

19 October 2007

(End text)

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.

********************************************* ********************
JONES

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