NEW DELHI – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters today on his flight from Delhi to Gujarat that it is his “solid assessment” that the United States will move its embassy to Jerusalem much sooner than most people think.
President Trump announced the move in December when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. At the time of the announcement, White House officials said that the move would take at least three years.
The Times of Israel quoted Mr. Netanyahu as saying, “My confident assessment is that it will move much faster than people think, within a year from today.”
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, during a speech at Al Ashar University in Cairo, once again laid claim to all of Israel as the land of the Palestinians’ ancient Canaanite ancestors. Abbas declared Jerusalem as “the gate of peace and war” saying that “Trump must choose.” He called upon the world to defend Jerusalem against undefined “violations.”
Abbas has ramped up his rhetoric in preparation for a meeting of Arab leaders set for February 1st.
Netanyahu said that the embassy move was only a one in a series of events that will be unfolding. He may have been referring to a Trump peace plan presented to Abbas by U.S. officials earlier this month in which included:
- less-than-full statehood for the Palestinians,
- no settlement evacuations,
- a permanent IDF presence in the Jordan Valley,
- ongoing Israeli control over security matters,
- and an Israeli veto regarding the final status of Jerusalem.
Fox News, Netanyahu says US Embassy to move to Jerusalem this year
New York Daily News, Trump’s Jerusalem embassy move to happen this year: Israel leader
The Times of Israel, Abbas: ‘Jerusalem is the gate of peace and war — Trump must choose’
Vanguard, U.S. to relocate embassy to Jerusalem within a year
YNet News, Netanyahu estimates US embassy move within a year