The incoming Trump administration plans to move ahead with its plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem regardless of criticism from Arab nations, CNN reported Monday.
According to the report, US President-elect Donald Trump’s team has informed regional allies of the plans.
CNN cited unnamed Israeli officials as speculating that the move could be announced as early as May 24, on the Israeli holiday “Jerusalem Day” that marks the reunification of the capital in the 1967 Six Day War.
The report emerged after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to Trump urging him not to relocate his country’s embassy in Israel when he assumes office.
“The president asked the American president-elect to not take this step [moving the embassy], as it will have destructive consequences on the peace process, the two state solution and the safety and security of the region,” official PA news site Wafa reported on Monday, paraphrasing Abbas’s letter. Wafa did not specify exactly when the letter was sent to Trump.
In addition, US Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS in an interview on Friday that relocating the embassy would cause “an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps [not] even [just] in Israel itself, but throughout the region.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of reporters on a state visit to Azerbaijan in mid-December that Trump’s plan to relocate the embassy is “great.”
Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.