The city of Ramallah, less than half an hour north of Jerusalem, saw the opening this week of its first five-star luxury hotel, despite Palestinian Authority claims that Israel is strangling the local economy.
The hotel, a franchise of the Swiss-based Movenpick chain, has 171 rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center, and cost $40 million.
The opening was not entirely perfect, as the hotel is not yet set up to provide ice cream. Co-owner Talal Nasreddin spoke to the French news agency AFP and blamed the lack of ice cream on “Israeli procedures at the crossings.” Israel inspects goods imported to Judea and Samaria in order to prevent arms smuggling.
While AFP reported that foreigners have returned to Ramallah “as security has improved,” the article – and the PA officials it quoted – did not note Israel’s role in stemming terrorism in the region and creating initiatives to improve PA employment and ease travel in the region.
The hotel has costed 40 million dollars. Impressive hein?