The United States has already chosen a site for a new American Embassy in Jerusalem and is quietly taking steps towards planning the new facility, according to a report broadcast this weekend by Israel’s Channel 2.
Unnamed sources told the television news outlet that an Israeli architect has been hired and construction is already under way at the Diplomat Hotel in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.
Representatives from the Trump administration are working with the Jerusalem municipality as the plans move forward, according to the report. Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman said, “We were impressed that the American standards are so much higher than we’re used to here. The requirements are much more stringent regarding planning, security and safety.” That having been said, the U.S. declined to share the entirety of its plans with Jerusalem due to national security considerations.
“The Americans have already submitted preliminary sketches, and it is our understanding they plan to entirely remodel the interior of the place,” said another Jerusalem municipal source. “An American architect who builds U.S. embassies around the world has come to check out the site.”
New entrances and exits are planned for the hotel, as well as security rooms, bomb shelters and underground facilities, Channel 2 reported, along with exterior security measures such as electronic surveillance equipment, fences and guard stations.
The Arab League is scheduled to convene in an emergency session Tuesday to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected announcement on Wednesday (Dec. 6) that he will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki requested the emergency meetings in phone calls to Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Yousef al-Othaimeen.
Aboul Gheit warned Saturday that if the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, such a move would fuel extremism and violence.