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US to move embassy to Jerusalem in mid-May, a year ahead of schedule

Move to take place on Israeli independence day

    The US consulate in Jerusalem, soon to be designated the US embassy
    The US consulate in Jerusalem, soon to be designated the US embassy (Photo: Getty Images)

    The US embassy to Israel is to move to Jerusalem in less than three months – far sooner than expected.

    Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel's Channel 10, said the move will begin on May 14, the day Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its declaration of independence.

    It is also the day the US, under President Harry Truman, recognised Israel as an independent state.

    Mr Ravid said staff in the existing US consular annexe in Jerusalem were notified on Friday that the status of their building would be changed to the US Embassy in Jerusalem from Monday 14 May.

    David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, would relocate his office to the building on that date and consular workers at the building would become embassy staff, he added.

    A move of staff from Tel Aviv would follow over the subsequent months while a site is found for a new full embassy building in the city.

    In a speech before the Knesset last month Vice President Mike Pence had said the embassy would be moved to Jerusalem by 2019.

    Donald Trump tore up decades of convention in early December last year by declaring that the US now recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.

    “We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past,” he said at the time.

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