March 19, 2018

U.S. to open new embassy in Jerusalem in May - State Department

24 February 2018, 07:06 | Donald Newman

Zionist occupied forces abduct six Palestinians In West Bank

Chief Executive of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson sits with his wife Miriam at a presidential debate between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and then Republican presidential nominee Donald Tr

Two Trump administration officials said the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence.

President Trump announced his historic decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel late previous year, saying "I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel".

A May opening is earlier than expected. Officials said Friedman had pushed to move the embassy this year, but Tillerson had successfully persuaded the President for more time to upgrade the security of the new facility. Critics argue that Trump was essentially circumventing Israel-Palestinian peace talks, where Jerusalem's status was to be one of the topics for negotiation.

"The American administration's decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and choose the Palestinian people's Naqba as the date for this step is a blatant violation of worldwide law", Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the PLO, was quoted by AFP as saying.

On the same day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the US announcement as "a great day for the people of Israel".

The State Department said it had "nothing to announce" about the Jerusalem embassy move and "no confirmation or details about this hypothetical proposal".

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital.

Trump's announcement recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordering that the embassy be moved broke decades of United States policy.

Initially, the embassy will be located in the Arnona neighborhood, in a modern building that now houses consular operations of U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem, Nauert said. "Thanks friend!" Katz said in a tweet.

"There is no greater gift than that!"

Lawyers at the State Department were looking into the legality of accepting private donations, the report said. The U.S. ambassador to Israel and a small team of embassy personnel will make the initial move. "We have to do it.' And I did it", the president said.

The Trump administration is reportedly reviewing an offer to help cover the costs of the Jerusalem embassy from Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Trump said many previous presidents had made the move an election promise but failed to fulfill it. "But I get it", he said.

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