USA to open new embassy in Jerusalem in May - State Department

USA to open new embassy in Jerusalem in May - State Department

USA to open new embassy in Jerusalem in May - State Department

The United States will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May, coinciding with Israel's celebration of the 70th anniversary of its independence, U.S. officials said Friday.

"We are planning to open the new US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May".

President Trump announced in December he would be moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel.

A just and comprehensive peace, the PA spokesperson added, could be achieved "only on the basis of worldwide resolutions (pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict) and the foundations of the peace process, namely the two-state solution, whereby an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem would be established on the 1967 borders".

Trump said his defiant move - making good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge - marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a speech on Friday to a gathering of conservatives in suburban Washington, Trump recalled his controversial decision, saying he withstood enormous pressure to make the move. "Jerusalem was the right thing to do".

Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel under President Obama, agrees that the embassy belongs in Jerusalem but that the Trump administration has failed to give the proper assurances especially to the Palestinians.

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He turned to the audience and told them, "The Iranian Foreign Minister will soon talk about peace". On Sunday evening, Netanyahu denounced the investigation.

The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - has been one of the thorniest issues in long-running Mideast peace efforts. The White House is asking the State Department about the legality of accepting private donations for the building.

The Arabs refer to Israel's founding as the Nakba, or "catastrophe".

The US State Department notified Congress on Friday that the Jerusalem embassy will open in May, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement and thanked US President Donald Trump for his "leadership" and his "friendship".

"Before May 14, the administration should do what it failed to do in December: describe this decision in the context of a broader, credible plan for two states, including a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem", Shapiro said.

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

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