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United States to move Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May

United States to move Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May

The consulate in East Jerusalem will continue to serve Palestinians, and for security reasons, US Ambassador David Friedman will continue living in the residence in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, and commute to the relocated embassy, the second official said.

A May opening is earlier than expected-U.S.

Last month Vice President Mike Pence had told the Israeli parliament that the embassy move would take place in 2019.

The opening of the mission will coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary, the statement said.

Palestinians also object to the date chosen for the embassy move - they call May 14, on which Israel declared independence in 1948, Naqba, their "day of catastrophe".

The United States has begun the search for a permanent location, it added.

None of the parties to possible future negotiations, however, has seen any part of the plan that the Trump administration periodically declares is imminent, and the Palestinian Authority cut off all contact with the United States following Trump's Jerusalem announcement. Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem since 1967.




Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz also on Friday congratulated the USA president for announcing Washington's plan on the opening of the new embassy. "There is no greater gift than that!" he said.

The embassy in Jerusalem will be gradually expanded in existing consular facilities in the Arnona neighborhood, according to Nauert.

Trump says the campaign against moving the embassy was "incredible".

Kathy Bethany, who used to oversee cost management at the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations at the State Department, told the AP that she didn't know of any other time when the USA government had accepted private money to fund an embassy during her tenure. The U.S. ambassador to Israel and a small team of embassy personnel will make the initial move.

Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, wait for the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.

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

US President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he walks to Marine One prior to departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, February 16, 2018, as he travels to Florida for the weekend.

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