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US to move embassy to Jerusalem by year's end, Netanyahu says

The United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of the year, Israeli Prime Minister Ben...

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 9:48 AM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 9:48 AM

The United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of the year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

That would be much quicker than expected, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying last month it was "not something that is going to happen this year, probably not next year."

Netanyahu made the comments while on an official state visit to India, his office told CNN.

However, President Donald Trump denied that the planned relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take place within a year on Wednesday in an interview with Reuters.

Asked about Netanyahu's comments, Trump said, "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."

As recently as December 8, Tillerson was telling reporters that the US still needed to acquire a site, make construction and building plans, ensure necessary authorizations, and then build the embassy itself.

If Netanyahu's assertion proves right, then it suggests the US is not going to wait until a new building is complete, but may take advantage of its two existing consular facilities in Jerusalem, and re-purpose one of them as its embassy.

CNN is reaching out to US officials and will update this story if they respond.

Trump's recognition last month of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and plans to relocate the embassy there, inflamed tensions in the region and sparked outrage across the world.

The announcement was condemned by 128 countries in a United Nations General Assembly vote in December, with nine countries supporting the decision and 35 abstaining, amid threats from the US to pull funding from the world body.

Palestinian funding cut

Netanyahu's comments Wednesday come one day after the US announced it would freeze $65 million in funding to the UN agency dedicated to helping Palestinian refugees. The agency has become a frequent target of criticism from Netanyahu.

The US said Tuesday that it will hold back more than half of the $125 million of a scheduled payment to the UN Relief Works Agency, which provides humanitarian aid, education, social services and medical care to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The decision drew condemnation from Palestinians, praise from Israel, and expressions of deep concern from UN officials and refugee groups worried about the humanitarian impact and particularly the potential for further destabilization of a region already reeling from conflict in Syria.

Defending the US decision to freeze funds, State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, "A big part of the reason we didn't [freeze the full amount], after a lot of interagency deliberations, is we thought this would have a big impact." Nauert said the US would like to see reforms at UNRWA and called on other countries to contribute more to the relief agency.

The US provides approximately 30% of UNRWA's $1.4 billion budget.

Abbas: Palestinians offered Abu Dis

Earlier in the week Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to confirm reports that the Trump administration had earmarked Abu Dis, a town adjacent to Jerusalem, as the capital of a future Palestinian state, during a speech to the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Central Council.

Previous US administrations have hewed to the international consensus that East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City and its key religious sites, would be the capital of any Palestinian state, subject to final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The White House did not respond to CNN's earlier request for comment on Abbas' remarks.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751526

Reported Deaths: 13799
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033281788
Lake557151010
Allen41710692
St. Joseph36998565
Hamilton36604417
Elkhart29413461
Tippecanoe22914227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19359326
Johnson18477389
Hendricks17689317
Clark13228195
Madison13158344
Vigo12625253
LaPorte12420221
Monroe12211176
Delaware10968198
Howard10337225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8577147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7812180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6972103
Morgan6765141
Dubois6221118
Marshall6211116
Cass6017110
Henry5902110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509176
Shelby501796
Lawrence4745122
Gibson445094
Clinton442755
Harrison441775
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438490
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400259
Miami395269
Jasper388654
Knox376391
Putnam373260
Wabash362383
Ripley347270
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332253
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246136
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221048
Sullivan214643
Owen212158
Fulton203042
Jay200932
Carroll193720
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166446
Parke149616
Pike138134
Blackford136232
Pulaski120747
Newton114336
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101914
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109025

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287651467
Cuyahoga1158292211
Hamilton814131250
Montgomery525601043
Summit484401001
Lucas43364820
Butler39021606
Stark33339929
Lorain25679505
Warren24600303
Mahoning22378603
Lake21213388
Clermont20125253
Delaware18860136
Licking16664222
Fairfield16577204
Trumbull16555482
Medina15613271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13293200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11608211
Miami10850225
Wayne9147223
Columbiana9036230
Muskingum8907135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8651250
Marion8646138
Erie8057165
Ashtabula7162179
Hancock6999132
Ross6946161
Geauga6841151
Scioto6536106
Belmont6159174
Union584649
Lawrence5734102
Jefferson5680158
Huron5547122
Sandusky5443126
Darke5420129
Seneca5349128
Washington5320109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444466
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey325153
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285550
Hardin275465
Henry273467
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148540
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
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