USA to open its embassy in Jerusalem in May

A bridge on the Jerusalem Tel Aviv fast train route July 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday hailed the USA announcement that it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May as "a great day for the people of Israel".

Israel's Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Israel Katz confirmed that the controversial embassy would officially open on May 14.

The embassy would be in an annex of an existing US facility in the neighborhood of Arnona. Consular operations will continue there, and US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, will work there with a small staff.

Trump administration officials told The Times of Israel that Congress was being notified of the decision Friday. Ever since it captured (and later annexed) East Jerusalem in the 1967 six-day war, Israel has claimed the city as its "eternal and undivided" capital, and has longed for worldwide recognition.

State Department officials are now examining the possibility of accepting funds for all or most of the planned embassy from Adelson, four officials told the AP.

The U.S.is reportedly planning to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in just a few months.

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The Palestine Liberation Organization immediately decried Washington's embassy announcement as a "provocation to all Arabs".

"What we want is a clear statement that will allow the Palestinians to have a state of their own, independent, within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital", Khladi added. The move broke with decades of U.S. foreign policy and inflamed tensions between the U.S., Israel and Palestinians.

"I promised to look at the world's challenges with fresh eyes", Trump said previous year.

Trump, speaking at the White House on Friday alongside visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, reiterated a claim he has made that his administration is making "great progress" on promoting peace in the Middle East.

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas this week travelled to the United Nations to call for an worldwide conference by mid-2018 in which the United States would not have the central mediating role in launching a wider peace process.

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