Trump Administration to open US Embassy in Jerusalem in May

US president Donald Trump delivers his final speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem before his departure, on May 23, 2017. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The United States will move its embassy to Jerusalem in May of this year. The expedited move will coincide with Israel’s 70th independence celebration in May, the State Department and two Trump Administration officials confirming the relocation Friday.

The United States Congress will reportedly be notified on Friday and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been reported to have signed a security plan for the new embassy.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas responded to the news, stating Friday “This is an unacceptable step. Any unilateral move will not give legitimacy to anyone and will be an obstacle to any effort to create peace in the region.” The secretary-general of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, claimed the decision would provoke the Arab world. Continuing with the Palestinians’ anti-US rhetoric, he warned “This is a violation of agreements between the PA and Israel and the destruction of the two-state solution, in addition to provoking all Arabs and Muslims.”

Israel’s Transportation Minister took to Twitter to thank President Trump, writing Friday “I would like to congratulate Donald Trump, the President of the US POTUS on his decision to transfer the US Embassy to our capital on Israel’s 70th Independence Day. There is no greater gift than that! The most just and correct move. Thanks friend!”

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US House of Representatives in Jerusalem ahead of the weekend, their meeting centered on bilateral ties and “Iran’s attempts to establish a military presence in Syria.” According to a statement from his office, “Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the Senators and Representatives for the American support for Israel and welcomed President Trump’s decision to implement the law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. He added that bilateral relations were closer than ever.”

The prime minister was not available for immediate comment as it is the Sabbath in Israel.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, February 23, 2018, and reposted with permission.