Relocation of embassies to save half million shekels

Sunday, September 10, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The decision of Costa Rica and El Salvador to relocate both their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv will save the Israeli taxpayer half million shekels a year in rent money previously paid by the Israeli government.
After the two countries chose to relocate their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv last month, leaving no embassies in Jerusalem, the Israeli government decided to stop paying the rent for the two countries’ embassies and ambassadors’ residents.
The decision to pay the rent for the two stems from an early 1980s gesture of gratitude for the brave yet controversial decision to locate the embassies in Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry was also responsible for maintenance and renovations of the buildings.
Three weeks ago, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez decided to relocate his country’s embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in order to “correct a historical error” that hurt Costa Rica’s standing among the Arab and Muslim world. Sanchez clarified that the decision to move the embassy to Tel Aviv is not a protest against Israel, the war in Lebanon or the Palestinians.
“As far as I am concerned, Israel’s right to exist free of any security threat, especially terrorism, is not in doubt. This is not a step intended to hurt Israel, but a step intended to honor international law,” he said.
One week later the President of El Salvador also announced that his country’s embassy will also be relocated to Tel Aviv.

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