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Archive for Israel

Newsline: US embassy in Jerusalem to cost nearly 100 times Trump’s estimate

The new US embassy in Jerusalem is going to cost a bit more than President Donald Trump had estimated. Make that nearly 100 times more. The Maryland-based firm Desbuild Limak D&K was awarded a $21.2 million contract to design and build “compound security upgrades” to the embassy, according to official documents uploaded this week, Al-Monitor reported. The US has already spent $335,402 to refurbish the embassy, formerly a consulate, ahead of its May opening. “We’re going to have it built very quickly and inexpensively,” Trump told reporters in March following his decision months earlier to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy there. “They put an order in front of my desk last week for $1 billion. … We’re actually doing it for about $250,000, so check that out.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-embassy-in-jerusalem-to-cost-nearly-100-times-trumps-estimate/

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Newsline: South Africa “holding back” ambassador to Israel

South Africa will not reinstate its ambassador to Israel that it withdrew on May 14 amid the heightened violence that resulted in the death of some 60 Gazans on the day the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, officially recognizing the city as Israel’s capital despite tremendous resistance from Palestinians as well as internationally. “I’m very glad that I recalled the ambassador, because we could have not been in the situation that we are at now. It’s been a violation that has been going on for a long time, and we can’t be looking away,” International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says. South Africa’s foreign minister said the withdrawal was indefinite due to the situation in Gaza. Some 140 Palestinians have been killed since March 30, of which 50 have been identified as Hamas members. “We are holding back on our ambassador until we are certain that we are making headway. For us this is an unacceptable situation, completely unacceptable.” South Africa originally withdrew its ambassador in protests of what it called Israel’s “latest act of violent aggression” against civilians protesting peacefully in the Gaza Strip.

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/178994-180708-south-africa-holding-back-ambassador-to-israel

Newsline: Slovakia declares it will move its embassy to Jerusalem

“Slovakia is on its way to relocating its embassy to Jerusalem,” head of the Slovak National Council Andrej Danko told President Reuven Rivlin. The visiting delegation of Slovak lawmakers announced the Eastern European country would open a cultural center in the Israeli capital. The move, when it materializes, would mark a break from European Union policy on Jerusalem. Slovakia would join the Czech Republic and Bulgaria as the other European Union member states to expand their diplomatic presence in the city since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The visiting lawmakers did not give a time frame for when the new cultural center would be opened. The decision, made by Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, came after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called on Bratislava’s government to follow the Czech Republic in opening an honorary consulate in the city.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/florida-jewish-journal/fl-jjps-slovakia-0711-20180705-story.html

Newsline: Israel’s embassy in Ireland stalled Dublin office works over security concerns

Israel’s embassy in Ireland has stated that a planned redevelopment of Carrisbrook House in Dublin 4 “could be a significant threat to the security and privacy” of its operation. Israel’s Dublin-based embassy, which is currently housed on the fifth floor of Carrisbrook House, has put a block on the plans for the building after it lodged an appeal against a decision by Dublin council which gave Spectre (Carrisbrook) Ltd the green light to revamp the office block. Previously, the IDA’s €1 million a year expenditure on lease payments on the largely-empty Carrisbrook House came under the political spotlight.

http://www.thejournal.ie/israeli-embassy-dublin-office-2-4097382-Jun2018/

Newsline: Bulgaria to put ‘honorary consulate,’ not embassy, in Jerusalem

Bulgaria will, “as a first step,” open an honorary consulate in Jerusalem that will not only deal with Bulgarian interests in the capital, but throughout the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Netanyahu made this announcement at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, saying he discussed the matter on Saturday night during a phone call with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who was in the country earlier this month. “I told him this is a welcome step, which I very much hope will lead quickly to the opening of Bulgaria’s official and full embassy in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. Diplomatic sources, however, said that the move has little real significance. The Czech Republic made a similar move last month, naming businessman Dan Propper as its honorary consul in Jerusalem. Bulgaria’s Embassy is currently located in Tel Aviv.

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Bulgaria-to-put-honorary-consulate-to-Israel-not-embassy-in-Jerusalem-560745

Newsline: New Colombian president open to moving embassy to Jerusalem

The newly elected Colombian president said recently he would be open to moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem, potentially becoming the fourth country, and third from Latin America, to do so. Conservative Ivan Duque won just over 54 percent of the vote, beating out leftist rival Gustavo Petro’s, who took 41.7% with nearly all the votes counted, electoral authority figures showed. On May 16, Duque said at a campaign event that if elected he would not rule out “the possibility of placing the diplomatic seat in Jerusalem.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-colombian-president-open-to-moving-embassy-to-jerusalem/

Newsline: Australia rules out moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem

Australia will not be following Donald Trump’s lead and moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Julie Bishop has said, despite strong support from the party’s base. The Liberal Party’s youth arm had called on the government to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s legislative capital, and to suspend all aid to Palestine “until it terminates its ‘Martyr’s fund”. The motion, which is non-binding, was carried in a vote 43 to 31, but the foreign minister said there was no chance the government would adopt it as policy. There are 110 council delegates who have voting rights at the national council. “While I understand the sentiment behind this resolution, the Australian government will not be moving our embassy to Jerusalem,” Bishop said. “Jerusalem is a final status issue and we have maintained that position for decades and we are doing all we can do to ensure that any support we give to the Palestinian Authority is only used for purposes that we determine.”

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/diplomacy/article/2151120/australia-rules-out-moving-its-israel-embassy-jerusalem-line-us