The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May to coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, officials in the Trump administration said Friday.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced last December that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, infuriating Arabs who want the eastern part of the city as the capital of their imaginary state.
Under the terms of the plan, US ambassador David Friedman and a small team of staff will set up their offices in an existing American consular building in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.
That building will then become America’s official embassy, even if it is only temporary.
The majority of American diplomats will remain at the current embassy building in Tel Aviv.
The US government in the meantime will continue scouting for a location for the permanent embassy in Jerusalem and later begin construction on an embassy building.
Israel will this year celebrate the anniversary on April 19/20. Israel proclaimed independence on May 14, 1948.
A ribbon-cutting is being planned for mid-May.
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who told US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to “shut up” earlier this month, said the decision “provoke the feelings of all Arabs and Muslims”.