USA to open Jerusalem embassy in May

24 February, 2018, 04:58 | Author: Andrea Terry
  • USA to open Jerusalem embassy in May

The donor offered funding for the embassy at about the same time that the president announced in December that the embassy would move to Jerusalem and that the United States would officially recognize that city as Israel's capital.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed off on the security plan for the new embassy on Thursday.

The date was chosen to coincide with 70th anniversary of Israel's independence.

"The American administration's decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and choose the Palestinian people's Nakba as the date for this step is a blatant violation of global law", senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Saeb Erekat told AFP.

"By the end of next year, we intend to open a new Embassy Jerusalem annex on the Arnona compound that will provide the Ambassador and his team with expanded interim office space", Nauert added.

Under any circumstance, letting private citizens cover the costs of an official government building would mark a significant departure from historical US practice.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Friday's USA announcement as "a great day for the people of Israel".


Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic) is the word used by Palestinians to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948.

In the Jerusalem case, it would add yet another layer of controversy to Trump's politically charged decision to move the embassy, given Adelson's longstanding affiliation with right-wing Israeli politics.

Israel follows the Jewish lunar calendar, so this year's official independence celebration falls on April 19. He said that ultimately, his administration "did the right thing".

In December, shortly after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Tillerson told reporters the process would likely take more than a year.

"The American administration's decisions to recognise 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", PLO number two Saeb Erekat told AFP.

Denouncing the decision as "provocative to the feelings of all Arabs and Muslims", Erekat pointed out that the USA administration's date for moving the embassy to Jerusalem coincided with the Nakba anniversary. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, told Trump: "May your house be destroyed".

Trump's proclamation shocked the Palestinian leadership, which responded by rejecting the United States as a peace broker, a position it had held for years.

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