KahlonFlash 90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) instructed the National Planning and Building Council to convene urgently to promote, as soon as possible, an exemption from the permit required to transfer the United States Embassy to Jerusalem.

Kahlon said at the request's signing: "I'm grateful for my privilege as Finance Minister responsible for planning in the State of Israel, to promote moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, our eternal capital."

"For this purpose, I instructed the National Planning and Building Council to promote, pursuant to section 266(e) of the Planning and Building Law, a permit exemption to establish essential infrastructure for the embassy's activities."

Kahlon tweeted to US President Donald Trump: "President Donald Trump, I'm happy to inform you that we are moving forward with the preparations, making sure that no bureaucracy slows down the process of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem."

Kahlon's directive to the National Planning and Building Council was made following a news report of bureaucratic difficulties that could delay the embassy transfer to Jerusalem on May 14, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State according to the Gregorian calendar.

In recent days, the Americans have made clear that in order to complete the process, a series of urgent and hasty security construction tasks are required, which must be completed by the requested move date.

The Americans are seeking, among other things, to build a hermetic wall more than three meters high to surround the embassy compound. They also require paving an escape route from the southern parking lot of the Diplomat Hotel along the western edge of the Arnona neighborhood in southern Jerusalem..

However, an examination conducted by the Foreign Ministry revealed that the adjustments the Americans seek do not conform to the building's local zoning plan, as the building was intended to serve as a consulate and not as an embassy.

In a letter sent by Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem to Finance Minister Kahlon, who is in charge of the planning directorate, Rotem warned that if the building was not granted an immediate exemption and the bureaucracy eased, a timely embassy move would be endangered.

"The [ordinary] process of requesting an amendment to the existing outline plan is expected to take a long time, and will not allow completion of the work on the date set for the embassy's move, that is, May 14th, 2018," wrote Rotem. "Without these works being completed, the compound will not meet the mandatory requirements of the State Department for the American Embassy."

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