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Turkish Firm Refuses to Build US Embassy in Jerusalem

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: world news/media, Kuwait, Lebanon, Great March of Return, Turkey, US embassy in Jerusalem, Jerusalem-West Bank-Palestine, usa, americans )

- 80 days ago -
A Turkish firm has declined to take part in the construction of the new US embassy in Jerusalem even though a partnership it is involved in won the contract for the project


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fly bird (26)
Friday July 27, 2018, 7:24 pm
A Turkish firm has declined to take part in the construction of the new US embassy in Jerusalem even though a partnership it is involved in won the contract for the project.

Earlier this month, the US government awarded a $21 million contract to “upgrade” the embassy compound in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem to a partnership called Desbuild Limak D&K JV LLC.

The owners of the partnership include the Maryland-based contractor Desbuild and the Turkish construction giant Limak Holding. This led to media reports that Limak will build the embassy.

Last week, however, Limak denied any role in the project.

“The information that the construction of the US embassy in Jerusalem will be done by Limak Holding does not reflect the truth,” the company said.

“When the issue of the construction of the US embassy in Jerusalem came to [the] agenda, we informed Desbuild company that we will not participate as a partner in this project and we would not give an offer as Limak,” the firm added.


Nonetheless the contract was awarded to a partnership in which Limak is involved – a fact whose implications The Electronic Intifada sought to clarify.

Limak did not respond to a request for comment, however The Electronic Intifada spoke to Prakash Hosadurga, co-founder and director of Desbuild.

According to Hosadurga, the Desbuild Limak D&K JV LLC partnership holds an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity – or IDIQ – contract with the State Department.

This is a type of fixed-term federal contract that allows a company to bid for projects using a streamlined process, as a sort of contractor on call.

Under this arrangement, the Desbuild-Limak partnership has worked on other US government contracts, including construction of US government facilities in Beirut and Baghdad.

However, when it came to the Jerusalem project, Limak “did not want to take part at the proposal stage due to its sensitive nature,” Hosadurga told The Electronic Intifada. “So we are doing it by ourselves.”

Hosadurga said the relative role of partners depends on the specific project.

“We did the one in Beirut and they [Limak] had a bigger role and we had a smaller role,” Hosadurga said. “But in this job they didn’t want any role in it.”

Desbuild will hire local subcontractors to do the work in Jerusalem, Hosadurga said.

The Electronic Intifada asked Hosadurga if he had any qualms about the project given how the UN General Assembly had voted overwhelmingly to condemn the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to reaffirm that Israel’s military occupation and attempts to change the status quo in the city are illegal.

“We are a government contractor. Whatever comes in our IDIQ we have to do,” Hosadurga asserted. “Our personal opinions don’t matter at all so we have to do it.”

In addition to working for the State Department, Desbuild is also a contractor for the US military.

“Glorious day”

Limak Holding is a high-profile company in Turkey. It is part of a consortium that in 2013 won a record-breaking $29 billion contract to build and operate a new Istanbul airport.

It is also building a new airport terminal and other major infrastructure projects in Kuwait.

Limak’s involvement in the embassy project would have been a major embarrassment for Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has forcefully condemned US policy on Jerusalem.

The US opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May in a ceremony attended by senior US officials and Israeli leaders.

Moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv fulfilled a campaign pledge by President Donald Trump to his biggest donor, the billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

As the ceremony took place, Israeli soldiers were slaughtering more than 60 Palestinians amid protests in the occupied Gaza Strip as part of the ongoing Great March of Return.

Blaming both Israel and the United States, Erdogan called the killings a “genocide.”

Speaking at the embassy opening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described 14 May as a “glorious day.”

JL A (281)
Friday July 27, 2018, 7:40 pm
I smiled with the title--a nice change from the concerns I'd been having about more local news (serious fires)...a bit disappointed it didn't prove to mean construction delayed

fly bird (26)
Friday July 27, 2018, 7:51 pm
Palestinians Threatened with Settlement Expansion and Collective Punishment
July 28, 2018

Radical right-wing Israeli ministers have reportedly launched a verbal attack on Palestinians, following the killing of a settler and the wounding of three others, in a stabbing attack at the illegal Adam settlement last night.

Palestinian sources said that far right government in Israel, having destroyed the peace process, is taking advantage of any event to take collective punishment measures against the Palestinian people, such as building more settlements, threatening to deport Palestinians and demolish their homes, while holding the Palestinian Authority accountable.

PNN sources said that those who follow the progress of Israeli statements are aware of the threat imposed by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, adding that statements made by Israeli officials focused on collective punitive measures against Palestinians, and calling for the construction of even more settlements, forgetting that the cause of all that is happening is the continuation of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

The statement comes after Israeli media announced that Avigdor Lieberman intends to approve the construction of 400 housing units, in the illegal settlement of Adam.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli minister of Defense announced today Friday that he would promote the construction and approval of 400 housing units in a quick process within the planning authorities within a few weeks in response to last naight attack at Adam settlement.

Lieberman wrote this morning in his Twitter account following the attack in Adam settlment led to killing of one settler wounding 2 athores that “the best answer to terror is the momentum of settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

“That’s why I left this morning to promote a plan to build 400 housing units in Adam and approve it in planning institutions in the coming weeks,” Lieberman wrote.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked responded to the stabbing attack in the settlement of Adam , where Yotam Ovadia was killed, and said that “the murderous attack yesterday in the settlement of Adam can not be left without a response.”

The minister added that the response to the damage is to strengthen the settlement, and to approve 1,093 housing units that are ready for discussion.

For his part, Israeli Minister Zeev Elkin called the stabbing attack, in Adam settlement, a chance to deal with what he called Palestinian incitement.

He claimed that the Palestinian education system and sermons in the mosques are the the reason behind the stabbing attack.

Minister of Intelligence, Yisrael Katz said, today:”I call on the prime minister; this is the time to allow the bill I initiated to expel the families of terrorists, as the most significant deterrent against individual terror.”

Katz added, “The law must be implemented to stop the Palestinian Authority funds, every shekel paid by Abu Mazen as an incentive to the families of the terrorists,”.

The sources said that all of these Israeli statements reflect the reality of the Israeli government, which does not believe in peace.
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