U.S. Speeds Up Timetable for Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

Posted In: News Date:Feb 24th, 2018

The Trump administration will officially move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by May, the State Department said, as the U.S. speeds up the timetable for a decision that has infuriated Palestinian leaders and jeopardized the American role as mediator in the Middle East peace process.

Under the new arrangement, signed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Feb. 22 and announced Friday, Ambassador David Friedman and a small group of staff will take up work in an existing U.S. consulate in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood in May, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. Expansion of the facility will take place by the end of 2019, the State Department said.

President Donald Trump announced in December that he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would move the embassy there from Tel Aviv, an action that past U.S. presidents have also promised but never delivered on because of its politically charged symbolism.