Israeli embassy ordered to tear down its wall

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Ten years of what was supposed to be a temporary security wall around the Israeli embassy are enough for Oslo city planning officials, reports newspaper Aften. They’ve ordered the embassy to tear down the controversial wall that it built back in 1999.

The city determined even then that the wall violated building codes and was illegal, but the embassy won an appeal of the ruling and was allowed to let it stand for 10 years, with a clear message from county officials as well that any extension would be rejected.

The embassy was told in 2002 that the wall must come down by February 16, 2010. Instead, the Israelis recently sought a six-year extension for the wall while they look for a new, more secure location than the one they’ve been occupying on a busy street just behind the Royal Palace.

The city has now turned down the request, claiming that the embassy’s wall and security fence “destroy” the historic neighbourhood behind the palace and that the embassy has had many years already to find a more suitable location.

Aften reported that the embassy, which didn’t wish to comment, now has three weeks to file another appeal, after which the city has six weeks to respond, meaning the case may drag on for months.

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