Trump’s plan to relocate US embassy to Jerusalem stuck in red tape

A US flag flies over part of the the consulate compound in Jerusalem. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

The Israeli Finance Minister is promoting an emergency move that would bypass planning regulations.

By Yael Darel | Haaretz | Mar 22, 2018

“It is not at all certain that the effort now underway to convert the consulate to an embassy meets the standard of the law.”
— Yossi Miller, Israeli attorney specializing in planning and building law

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said he was seeking an exemption from planning regulations to ensure that the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem can be upgraded to become the American embassy in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations on May 14, 2018.

Kahlon said he has asked the National Planning Committee, chaired by Avigdor Yitzhaki, to impose a rarely used exemption in the National Planning and Building Law empowering him to request the exception and hoped the committee would approve the measure when at an emergency meeting next Tuesday.

Kahlon also informed U.S. President Donald Trump via a tweet of the efforts underway. “President @realDonaldTrump, 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,” he wrote.

But planning experts were quick to cast doubt on Kahlon’s plans, noting that he would have to explain the planning committee why enabling the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the compressed timeframe was a national priority, as the law requires it to be.

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