Is this how the next embarrassment will be avoided? The Minister Committee on Legislative Affairs passed an addendum to the planning and building law mandating that a representative from the Prime Minister's Office take part in discussions on building plan authorizations.
Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog said Friday, "This initiative is vital for prevent similar mishaps in the future."
The committee discussed the addendum bill for many long hours regardless of the diplomatic debacle when the Interior Ministry authorized the construction of 1,600 housing units in east Jerusalem just as US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel to promote peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. However, Herzog asked that it be implemented as part of the conclusions from this week's incident.
Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. 1,600 housing units approved (Photo: AP)
Despite the incident, the political echelons estimate that the proximity talks that will be started in the middle of next week when US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell returns to the region.
"We have not heard anything official indicating that the Palestinians are not willing to start talks," said a senior official in the Prime Minister's Office.
"Our feeling is that, ultimately, things will improve since the Ramat Shlomo apartment affair," said the official. "It is not that I wouldn't want to have avoided the incident and the embarrassment, but ultimately, after three telephone conversations between the prime minister and the vice president, it has been made clear beyond a doubt that it was not intentional."