Israel urges U.S. to transfer embassy to Jerusalem

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

In a move unrecognized pretty much by the rest of the world, Israel declared Jerusalem al-Quds its capital in 1980s.

Netanyahu wanted to join Trump on his visit to the Wall, which is unprecedented for a sitting president.

While Trump has not taken any action on his pledge to move the embassy so far, the Palestinian leadership fiercely opposes any such effort, and the worldwide community has warned that it could spark unrest.

After the report the Prime Minister's Office took the unusual step of releasing minutes from the Netanyahu-Trump meeting to prove that the Prime Minister supports the U.S. embassy move.

Netanyahu is reportedly pushing to deliver a joint speech with Trump at Masada, another historical site in Israel, rather than just the introduction he is now slated for.

Earlier on "Meet the Press", Tillerson had said President Donald Trump would consider the move, but wanted to first understand the issue.

"Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem will not harm the peace process". Palestinians and most of the global community regard all or part of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

"Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would not harm the peace process".

The site has been politically controversial, as it is located in Jerusalem's Old City, which was under Jordanian control from the founding of Israel in 1948 to 1967, when it came under Israeli control following the Six-Day War.

The US president vowed during his election campaign to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a move that would anger Palestinians and the wider Arab and Muslim worlds.

Israel is, already, one of the few peaceful places in the Middle East.

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"Israel's position has been stated many times to the United States government and to the world", Netanyahu said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel has contacted the administration to discuss the matter.

According to the report, the Israeli delegation was so angry that members started shouting.

There were no further details about the security arrangements but the source added that the Palestinian security apparatus would oversee parts of president's visit as had been the case with previous trips by USA leaders to the the West Bank.

"We are convinced that this statement is contrary to the policy of President Trump ..."

The US, like most of the global community, considers Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations.

Trump has already promised Netanyahu that he would recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's "eternal" capital.

He also surrounded himself with a core of advisers with strong ties to the West Bank settlement movement, including his ambassador, David Friedman.

The former bankruptcy lawyer has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of USA peace efforts.

The Prime Minister's Office also released a summary of a meeting between Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn on 16 January.

Trump will embark on his first worldwide trip since taking office on Friday and begin with visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank and Italy.

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