The Trump administration is accelerating relocation plans of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
After initially announcing the move would take 3-4 years to complete, and then revising the deadline down to 2019, the U.S. is now planning a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14 this year.
The date was chosen to coincide with 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
The rushed schedule means that at first the embassy will be located temporarily at the existing U.S. consulate in the Arnona neighborhood in West Jerusalem. According to a senior administration official, the temporary location will house Ambassador David Friedman and a small staff, while other operations will continue from the existing embassy building in Tel-Aviv. At the same time, work will continue to locate a permanent compound for the embassy in Jerusalem.
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson has offered to foot the bill for a new embassy in Jerusalem, but there has been no official response to his offer.