Top Israeli officials welcomed Friday’s announcement by the Trump administration that the US Embassy in Israel will be relocated from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim in May.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the move “will turn Israel’s 70th Independence Day into an even greater national celebration.”
“Thank you, President Trump, for your leadership and your friendship,” Netanyahu continued.
In a tweet, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer compared the move to late former President Harry Truman’s 1948 recognition of the newly-established State of Israel.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon stated, “President Trump’s bold decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem this May, in honor of our seventieth Independence Day, is a testament to the unbreakable alliance and true friendship between the US and Israel. 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.”
Dani Dayan, the consul general of Israel in New York, also praised the move, calling it a “great present” for Israel’s 70th birthday.
In a statement published on Friday afternoon, the US State Department provided details about the move:
In May, the United States plans to open a new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The opening will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary. The Embassy will initially be located in the Arnona neighborhood, in a modern building that now houses consular operations of U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem. Those consular operations, including American citizen and visa services, will continue at the Arnona facility without interruption, as part of the Embassy. Consulate General Jerusalem will continue to operate as an independent mission with an unchanged mandate, from its historic Agron Road location. Initially, the interim Embassy in Arnona will contain office space for the Ambassador and a small staff. 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. In parallel, we have started the search for a site for our permanent Embassy to Israel, the planning and construction of which will be a longer-term undertaking. We are excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening.
(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner . Barney Breen-Portnoy