Netanyahu expected to invite Trump to Israel for Jerusalem embassy opening
02:01, Feb 26, 2018
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An Israeli government source said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in contact with the U.S. Administration and would respond if and when an American announcement was made on the planned U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem.
Initially, the embassy will open on May 14 - timed with Israel's 70th celebration of independence - at its refurbished consular facility in Arnona, the State Department announced Friday.
Late previous year, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the embassy would be moved, breaking from worldwide norm. According to Hadashot news, Netanyahu is expected to invite US President Donald Trump to Israel to participate in the inauguration ceremony.
Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer noted that on the same date in 1948, then-president Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel and now in 2018, Trump will reaffirm Jerusalem's status as the state's capital with the transfer.
In addition, the Palestinians have said they won't negotiate peace with Israel as long as the United States is involved and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Palestinians claim the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state, and Trump's move has also angered Arab political and religious leaders across the region. "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. President Trump, you are a great friend of the State of Israel and we all thank you". While Israel considers Jerusalem its capital and is home to its parliament, the Knesset, the city holds special status according to the United Nations which is generally abided by by the worldwide community whose embassies remain in Tel Aviv contrary to law. The worldwide community is also demanded to confirm it's recognition of the occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, thereby renewing its position of refusing to transfer the their embassies to Jerusalem.
Palestinian health officials said at least 20 Palestinians, majority in Gaza, have been killed in protests against Trump's decision since the December 6 announcement. PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the decision blatantly violates global law and destroys the option for a two-state solution.
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