After U.S. move, Israel eyeing site for an 'embassy quarter' in Jerusalem

By Lahav Harkov for JPost.com, December 12, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu stand next to the dedication plaque of the US embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

After U.S. move, Israel eyeing site for an ‘embassy quarter’ in Jerusalem.

The Housing and Construction Ministry began examining a site for a neighborhood of embassies in Jerusalem.

Thus far, only the US Embassy and the Guatemalan Embassy are in Jerusalem, but several other countries’ leaders have said they are weighing moving their embassies, including Australia and Brazil.

Now Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant is preparing for the possibility of an influx of embassies, eyeing a 100 dunam (25 acre) plot of state land in Talpiot.

“I am convinced that many more countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem,” Gallant said, “therefore I instructed my ministry to come up with scenarios for appropriate solutions for the embassies in the future, including a unique ‘embassies quarter.’”

Gallant plans for the area to include buildings in which several countries can have their embassies, as well as housing for workers nearby. It would be surrounded by a wall for security, but still allow for there to be a view of the Old City.

The “embassies quarter” is within pre-1967 lines, and would be 1.5 km from the West Bank separation barrier.

“I turn to the nations of the world and say: moving embassies to Jerusalem, our eternal capital, is the right thing to do. Hurry, the best places will be given away fast,” Gallant said.

Other capitals in the world, like Washington DC and London, have concentrated areas with many embassies, some official and some unofficial.

Currently, there are several embassies on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv, but there is no official embassy row and they are not necessarily adjacent to one another. Some embassies that claim to be in Tel Aviv are technically in Ramat Gan.

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