Israeli leaders embrace U.S. decision to open embassy in Jerusalem in May

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the American decision is "a great day for the people of Israel."

February 23, 2018 23:52
2 minute read.
Israel's national flag is projected on the wall near the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem

Israel's national flag is projected on the wall near the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem May 20, 2017. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)


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The Trump administration revealed Friday that it intends to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, Israel's  70th anniversary.

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

"President Trump's decision to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day follows his historic declaration in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital," a statement issued by the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Friday said.

"This decision will turn Israel's 70th Independence Day into an even bigger celebration. Thank you President Trump for your leadership and friendship," it added.

Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon praised the Trump administration on Friday shortly after the announcement.

“President Trump’s bold decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem this May, in honor of our 70th Independence Day, is a testament to the unbreakable alliance and true friendship between the US and Israel,” said Danon.

“The time is now for all UN member-states to follow in the footsteps of the US and declare that they too recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” he added.

Using the traditional Jewish expression "Next year in Jerusalem," Danon pointedly said that the move will take place "this year."

The US State Department announced that the embassy will move to the Arnona neighborhood and will function in the building that now hosts the consular operations of the US Consulate General in Jerusalem.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer posted on social media that on May 14, 1948, US President Truman recognized the State of Israel and now on May 14, 2018, US President Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem.

“70 years apart. Two historic decisions. One united capital,” tweeted Dermer.

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