Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Israel Scrambles After Trump Says He May Still Attend Jerusalem Embassy Opening

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli officials told local media they were surprised to learn that President Trump may still travel to Israel for the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

When asked during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday who would be among the 250-person-strong delegation attending the opening of the controversial Jerusalem embassy, Trump told reporters that “I may go. Very proud of it.”

Trump’s name was not on the documents provided to Israel by the United States regarding the U.S. delegation scheduled to attend the May 14 ceremony, Hadashot news reported.

Trump also said during the news conference on Friday that he had nearly signed a plan for relocating and constructing a new embassy at a cost of $1 billion, but then rejected the plan in favor of one that will cost between $300,000 and $400,000. He added that U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had recommended a pared-down plan that would only cost $150,000 by simply converting the existing consular facility.

The new embassy initially will be housed in southern Jerusalem, in the Arnona neighborhood, on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of the Consulate General of Jerusalem.

Friedman and some staff will begin working out of the consular section beginning in May. In the second phase, by the end of 2019, an annex on site will be constructed for a more permanent working space for the ambassador, staff and a classified processing site. The third phase, the site selection and construction of a new embassy, will take up to nine years.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.