US to open Jerusalem Embassy in May

The Trump administration has officially announced that US embassy will be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May which is timed with the 70th Independence Day of Israel. Initially, the Embassy will be located in Arnona which is currently housing Consulate General of Jerusalem. President Trump made the announcement in a speech to the conservative action group in Washington.

The security plan for the move has been approved by the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The complete movement of the facility will be done by 2019 end. President Trump reiterated his commitment to negotiate a two-state solution between the two parties and has called on all factions to maintain peace and order especially in and around the Holy sites.

Prime Minister of Israel has thanked President Trump for his courageous and right step forward but Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas has issued a warning of grave consequences and unrest in the region.  The United States has become the first country to move its embassy to Jerusalem- the newly recognised capital of Israel, a territory which is still claimed by both Israel and Palestine.

The embassy houses 1000 employees and the move will take time to completely address the security, design and cost concern. The decision has been mired in controversies since decades, it was as per a law passed by the Clinton administration, in 1995 which supports Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also directs the movement of US embassy to Jerusalem mandatorily. The law comes with a caveat which allows the President to issue waivers every six months primarily to delay the move.

State Department indicated that the actual transfer may take years but an initial footprint to shift a few offices in the already existing US facility in Jerusalem.

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