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Israel fast-tracks wall, escape route for new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

Israel fast-tracks wall, escape route for new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was taken to a hospital on Tuesday where he was diagnosed with a mild viral illness of the upper respiratory system, according to officials with the hospital and the Prime Minister's office.

Israel has said the Embassy will be opened on May 14, the 70th anniversary of its founding. Even that target would have been tight due to the time needed to authorize and complete the necessary upgrade of the consular facility in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood.

The Times of Israel cited a statement from Netanyahu's office, which said the prime minister was taken to Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem neighborhood of Jerusalem to undergo tests.

Kahlon said the move was of "strategic" importance to Israel and that his staff would "do everything that is needed to respect the timetable".

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The Israeli planning permit waiver for the Embassy will be good for three years, the Finance Ministry statement said.

Until now, the USA embassy has been located in Tel Aviv with a separate consulate general located in Jerusalem that represents United States interests in the Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu has described Jerusalem as "the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years", and Trump said the embassy move was "a long overdue step to advance the peace process".



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