Published: Sat, February 24, 2018
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Adelson offers to help Trump administration pay for US Jerusalem embassy

Adelson offers to help Trump administration pay for US Jerusalem embassy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed off on the security plan for the new embassy on Thursday.

The Trump administration is working to make the move by May 2018 in celebration of Israel's 70th anniversary. According to Channel 10 and Hadashot news, a ribbon-cutting ceremony could be held on May 14 to honor that date.

Palestinians object to recognition of the disputed city as Israel's capital and say the embassy move could destroy a two-state solution to the decades-old Middle East conflict.

The move comes earlier than expected after Vice President Mike Pence told the Israeli parliament last month the relocation would take place by the end of 2019.

"Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a declaration of war against the Arab and Muslim nation, and the U.S administration must reconsider its move", said the group's spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.

Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate, also strongly backs Israel's prime minister, financing a free newspaper friendly to Benjamin Netanyahu.

The US ambassador will move his office to a consulate already in the city, the officials said, followed by the gradual expansion of its premises.

Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic) is the word used by Palestinians to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) denounced the decision, calling it a "provocation to all Arabs".

The decision to move the embassy was widely condemned by the global community over concerns the action would undermine the prospects for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

President Donald Trump announced past year that the USA recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, setting in motion the move of the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The initial embassy will be a temporary operation in a USA consular building in Jerusalem's Arnona neighbourhood, the official said, while Washington seeks a permanent location. "It's the right thing to do".

In a speech Friday to the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, Trump recalled his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.

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