By James Marlow
President Donald Trump and his administration will keep their promise and officially relocate their Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem when Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary.
A US official confirmed the new US Embassy to Israel will open in Jerusalem in May, adding that, “the Embassy will initially be located in Arnona, on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem.” But the State Department will continue to search out an appropriate site including the relevant needed architects for the construction of a much larger, more permanent base.
It is understood the new temporary US Embassy will house Ambassador David Friedman along with a small team which has been welcomed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and most Knesset Members.
In an 80-minute speech last Friday President Trump defended his move to a conservative action group in Washington.
“I said, I have to do it, because it’s the right thing to do,” Trump said. “The campaign against it was so incredible,” referring to his discussions with some world leaders. “But you know what?” said Trump, “the campaign for it was also incredible.”
Heather Nauert, a spokesman for the State Department, elaborated on the administration’s plans in a statement last Friday afternoon and noted that US diplomats are “excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening.”
She also pointed out that the consular operations, including American citizen and visa services, will continue at the Arnona facility without interruption, as part of the Embassy.
In addition, “Consulate General Jerusalem will continue to operate as an independent mission with an unchanged mandate, from its historic Agron Road location,” which is next door the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.