Netanyahu Thanks Trump For Speedy Jerusalem Embassy Move

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Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - now occupied by Israel - might eventually serve as capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Speeding up the embassy transfer has infuriated Palestinians and Muslims from across the globe as well as the worldwide community who see in setting up the United States embassy in Jerusalem a move prejudicial to peace in the region.

Israel actually celebrates its independence according to the Jewish calendar, so the western date is different every year, and this year it will actually be celebrated on April 19.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Motzoei Shabbos expressed Israel's gratitude for its weekend announcement that the United States would officially move its embassy to Yerushalayim in mid-May - just in time for Israel's 70th Independence Day.

The US announced on Friday the early relocation of the embassy.

However, Goldstein said there were "no formal talks" between the State Department and any private citizen for financing the embassy, and no formal requests made to the State Department for such an arrangement.

Initially, the embassy will consist of just a few offices inside an existing United States facility in Jerusalem.

"Before May 14, the administration should do what it failed to do in December: describe this decision in the context of a broader, credible plan for two states, including a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem", Shapiro said.

Netanyahu Thanks Trump For Speedy Jerusalem Embassy Move

Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the potential capital of a future Palestinian state and oppose any suggestion that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel's capital.

"President Trump's decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem will make our Independence Day celebrations even happier", he said, thanking President Donald Trump for his "leadership and friendship".

Hanan Ashrawi said by choosing to move the embassy on May 14 a day Palestinians mourn what they call "the Nakba" - the catastrophe - that befell them with the reestablishment of the Jewish State, the USA administration had added "insult to injury".

"Unfortunately, the Americans don't seem to care about the voice of the global community", the ministry stated.

This move "directly and deliberately violates the identity and existence of the Palestinian people", the government said in a statement on Saturday.

"The American administration's decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and choose the Palestinian people's Naqba as the date for this step is a blatant violation of global law", PLO number two Saeb Erekat said. "We are calling on all Muslim nations to confront Israel and to stop such decisions".

Accordingly, on their official Twitter account, the PLO published a quote from Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian activist and scholar, saying that "They deliberately chose a tragic day in Palestinian history, as an act of gratuitous cruelty adding insult to injury".

A May opening is earlier than expected - US Vice President Mike Pence told the Israeli parliament last month that the move would take place by the end of 2019. It's the right thing to do.

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