The decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem on the anniversary of Israel's founding is a "provocation", Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday.
In a speech Friday to a gathering of conservatives in suburban Washington, Trump recalled his controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying he withstood enormous pressure to make the move. Much of the rest of the embassy personnel will remain for now in Tel Aviv. Per the Jerusalem Post, Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Israel Katz made the surprise announcement on Twitter Friday, tweeting: "I would like to congratulate Donald Trump ... on his decision to transfer the US Embassy to our capital on Israel's 70th Independence Day".
The consulate in East Jerusalem will continue to serve Palestinians, and for security reasons U.S. Ambassador David Friedman will continue living in the residence in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, and commute to the relocated embassy, the second official said.
Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948.
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"The fact that the USA administration chose Nakba Day to move the embassy to Jerusalem is a provocation to all Arabs and Muslims and we condemn it most forcefully", Erekat said in a statement. Only the ambassador, a chief of staff and a staff secretary will be situated there in its first years of operation, the official said.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation has described it as "provocation to Arabs". No other country has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He said that ultimately, his administration "did the right thing".
Katz said the U.S. Embassy will initially be located on a compound in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood that now houses the consular operations of the Consulate General Jerusalem.