While Netanyahu says the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem “much sooner than you think,” Trump says not so fast.
By: World Israel News Staff
The US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem much quicker than initially thought, possibly within the coming year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.
Israeli media reported that on a flight within India as part of his six-day state visit to the country, Netanyahu commented that the embassy move will occur “much sooner than you think,” likely within the year.
However, when asked about Netanyahu’s statement, Trump told Reuters that this will not happen. “By the end of the year? We’re talking about different scenarios – I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We’re not really looking at that. That’s no.“
In December, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem is “not going to be anything that happens right away … it’s probably no earlier than three years out.”
In addition to praising the US decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy, Netanyahu lauded the Trump administration as the first to “challenge” the UN aid agency to the Palestinians (UNRWA).
On Tuesday, the US notified UNRWA that it is withholding $65 million of a forthcoming $120 million contribution.
The US funding cut “is the first time that there is a challenge to UNRWA, after 70 years. The agency that perpetuates the Palestinian narrative and the erasing of Zionism – and this is the first time this thing is challenged. It’s a good thing that they’re moving forward and challenging this body,” Netanyahu commented, according to the Times of Israel.
Netanyahu further lauded the Trump administration for allocating 120 days to reformulate the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump announced last week that he would not recertify the deal again unless its terms were changed, which Netanyahu called a “strategically significant step.”
“Three things are happening in the United States that never happened before,” Netanyahu said. Besides the cut to UNRWA and the Jerusalem embassy shifts, “there is a dramatic change toward Iran. The president gave a time limit for the necessary change in attitude to the nuclear program. Rest assured this is going to happen. He’s the one talking about canceling the deal.”
“This is very important,” Netnayhu said, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Otherwise Iran’s train will be going to just one place,” meaning building nuclear weapons, Netanyahu warned.