The Interior Ministry on Monday gave its initial approval for a new military college in east Jerusalem, which will be located on the Mount of Olives. The 42,000 square meter structure of the new National Defense College is planned for an open area between the Mount of Olives and Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.

Left-wing groups slammed the approval. “This is a crazy plan to build a military college in one of the most sensitive areas in dispute,” said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, who oversees the Settlement Watch Division. “This will inevitably harm the status of the state of Israel and the IDF in the world… People in the world respect our army as part of our sovereignty, but to put this is a very sensitive area, you’re inviting them to boycott the Israeli army,” she said.

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