Israel yesterday approved the expansion of the US embassy in Jerusalem, only three months after its controversial relocation to the occupied city.
The Jerusalem Municipality fast-tracked building permits to enable the expansion plans, adding a further 700 square meters to the existing structure, the Times of Israel reported.
This will expand the embassy’s office space, create new entrances and allow additional staff to be transferred from the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nir Barkat, said that
He added the move would strengthen the connection between Israel and the US and was intended to support the US’ strategic decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
The US Embassy in Jerusalem was formally opened on May 14, amid widespread protests and international condemnation. The embassy’s opening ceremony was boycotted by 54 out of 86 ambassadors to Israel, while several international leaders slammed the decision.
US President, Donald Trump, announced his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem in December 2017.
Trump also unilaterally declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, despite the fact that the city’s status was reserved for final status negotiations under the Oslo Accords agreed upon in the early 1990s.
Source: Palestine Chronicle