On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to praise Washington’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem in May. Netanyahu is expected to invite US President Donald Trump to Israel to participate in the inauguration ceremony, according to Hadashot news.
Trump and Netanyahu in Jerusalem Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Saturday the US State Department’s announcement confirming that the American embassy will move to Jerusalem in May in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence. According to Hadashot news, Netanyahu is expected to invite US President Donald Trump to Israel to participate in the inauguration ceremony.
“This is a great moment for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a short video statement. “President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem will make our Independence Day celebration even happier. Thank you, President Trump, for your leadership, and for your friendship.”
At this week’s government meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu continued to praise the embassy move. “Over the weekend we learned that President Trump has decided to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, on this coming Independence Day,” Netanyahu said. “This is a great moment for the citizens of Israel and this is a historic moment for the State of Israel. We will celebrate it together, all citizens of Israel. This will have significant and historic long-range implications. On behalf of the entire government and people, I would like to thank President Trump for both his leadership and his friendship. President Trump, you are a great friend of the State of Israel and we all thank you.”
Watch: Netanyahu welcomes the embassy move announcement
According to the US State Department’s announcement, the embassy will first move to the US consular building. By the end of 2019, a new, permanent embassy building will be built.
I would like to thank @POTUS Trump for both his leadership and his friendship. President Trump, you are a great friend of the State of Israel and we all thank you.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 25, 2018
As expected, the announcement triggered furious responses from Palestinian officials. PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the decision blatantly violates international law and destroys the option for a two-state solution.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also slammed the announcement, saying in a statement that the decision “undermines the foundations of peace” and ignores international law as well as the recent UN resolution against the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “Unfortunately, the Americans don’t seem to care about the voice of the international community,” the ministry stated. “In response to this troubling decision, Turkey, along with the majority of the international community, will continue its efforts to protect the rights of the Palestinian people.”