“The US Embassy has received a green light from the Jerusalem Municipality,” the city’s Mayor Moshe Lion announced on Monday, referring to the embassy’s permanent building that will be built in the city.
The US was the first country to make the historic move and relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. After the move, the US Consulate in Jerusalem was upgraded and given the status of an embassy temporarily, until a permanent embassy building could be built in the city.
On Monday, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and representatives from the Jerusalem municipality met with representatives from the US embassy and State Department to discuss various issues that have come up in the planning process.
At the end of the meeting, Lion said that the municipality had given the Americans the green light to fast-track the planning process for the embassy’s permanent building.
“Within six months, we will reach advanced stages, and God willing, in a few years we will be able to inaugurate the permanent residence of the US embassy in Israel’s capital,” he said.
The US is considering two possible plans for the Jerusalem embassy. One possibility is a brand new building in a compound that belongs to the US, known as the “Allenby Compound.” Another possibility is the upgrade of the facilities in the building that previously served as the US Consulate.
The Jerusalem municipality agreed to move a planned light rail station near the Allenby Compound if the Americans decide to develop it.
The plan to upgrade the current embassy building has received objections from neighbors. Additionally, the nearby Diplomat Hotel, in which 450 destitute elderly Russian immigrants reside, would have to be cleared.
The US will decide which plan will be advanced in the coming months.
A statement from the Jerusalem Municipality said that the building will fit in with Jerusalem’s unique architectural tradition and that the permanent embassy will likely have a significant positive impact on the surrounding area.
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