A local planning council in Jerusalem gave its approval to the Jewish-owned Beit Yehonatan building in a stormy two-hour meeting on Monday. The council gave retroactive approval to the five-story building, which was named after Jonathon (Yehonatan) Pollard. The building is located in Shiloach, a neighborhood that was originally Jewish but was taken by Arabs during riots and pogroms in the 1930s.
Jerusalem City Attorney Yossi Havilio opposed the approval process, arguing that the city should not approve a building that was initially constructed without the proper permits. However, committee member Attorney Yair Gabbai told the committee that dozens of Arab buildings in the area had been built or expanded without permission, and that the city had taken no action against the owners.