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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The ever-increasing demand for Jerusalem hotel space has won out over the security concerns of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
On Wednesday, the Tourism Ministry announced an agreement with the Finance Ministry, the Prime Minister's Office and the State Comptroller's Office for the establishment of a new hotel that will be built right next to the Prime Minister's Office.
The designated lot is situated on Givat Ram in Kiryat Haleom, the "National Campus" of government offices, across the street from the Knesset and the Supreme Court.
The agreement stipulates that alongside the hotel, the project will include an extension for the State Comptroller's Office and a space to be designated for public use.
According to the plan, the hotel will include 200 rooms, public halls, a commercial area, restaurants and more. Once the registration of the plan is completed, the lot and its development projects will be marketed to entrepreneurs.
"This project is due to add 200 direct jobs in Jerusalem, as well as to assist the Jerusalem and Israeli economy," said Shaul Tzemach, director-general of the Tourism Ministry. "The Tourism Ministry will continue to work to strengthen a strong, advanced tourism industry."
During the first six months of 2008, Jerusalem's hotels had the highest occupancy rates in the nation - 71 percent, in comparison to a national average hotel occupancy rate of 65%.