President Donald Trump said Friday he may travel to Israel next month to open the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem after ordering the move in the face of widespread Palestinian anger.
Late a year ago, Trump came under fire by the global community after taking the extraordinary step of formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announcing plans to relocate the USA embassy by May 2018.
The president has said it is possible that he personally may join the celebrations for the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, the secular date of Israel's 70th anniversary.
"The embassy in Jerusalem has been promised for many, many years by presidents", Trump said in Friday's press conference.
The Trump administration is seriously considering allowing Jonathan Pollard, a former intelligence analyst for the US government who pleaded guilty in 1987 of spying for Israel and providing it with classified information, to move to Israel, US and Israeli officials at The Jerusalem Post Conference in NY said Sunday.
"I can take a corner of the building and for $150,000, we can fix it up, make it handsome, open our embassy". I said, "What are you talking about, a billion dollars?"
Trump said he had finally authorized $300,000 to $400,000 to be spent on the construction of the new embassy. Let's not go from a billion dollars to $150,000. "Transportation Minister Israel Katz announced in December that he would name the train station that will be built in the future near the Western Wall after the U.S. president", adds the Post. I never got to the word "Trump".
The fact that Trump claimed to have been halfway through signing his name before he noticed the dollar amount raised questions about how much attention the president is paying to things he approves. We will take a piece of the building.
According to sources at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, the embassy will be transferred in the first phase to the consulate building in the Arnona neighborhood, south of West Jerusalem. "Instead of in 10 years from now, we can open it up in three months.' And that's what we did".
"But that's the way government works", he said.
The announcement was greeted with approval by Israeli politicians though Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis opposes the embassy move in accordance with European Union policy.