Mubarak reportedly nixed Bibi meeting over demolitions


(JTA) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reportedly may have had reasons other than poor health to postpone his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A source close to Mubarak told an Egyptian paper that Mubarak did not meet with Netanyahu as scheduled this week because a home was razed in east Jerusalem on Tuesday, Army Radio reported. Other sources, however, said it was because the Libyan aid ship was set to arrive in an Egyptian port.

Previous reports had said that the meeting was postponed due to Mubarak’s health.

The inhabited home in the Beit Hanina neighborhood was among several buildings razed Tuesday by Israel — the first demolitions in eastern Jerusalem in eight months. The house, home to a family of seven, was built without a city permit, Jerusalem municipality officials told Reuters.

Four other uninhabited homes in the Jabel Mukaber and Issawiya neighborhoods, as well as a partially built factory, also were demolished.

Israel’s previous demolitions of eastern Jerusalem homes were condemned internationally.

The demolitions came a day after a Jerusalem municipal committee approved the construction of 32 homes in the eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev, part of a reported development of 250 housing units.

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