Embassy of the United States, Jerusalem
The Embassy of the United States of America in Jerusalem is the diplomatic mission of the United States of America to the State of Israel, located in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem. In mid-October 2018, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Embassy in Jerusalem would be merging with the US Consulate-General in Jerusalem into a single mission. Relations with the Palestinians would still be conducted through a special Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the Embassy.
|Embassy of the United States, Jerusalem|
|Address||14 David Flusser Street|
|Ambassador||David M. Friedman|
(March 29, 2017–present)
The Embassy opened at its Jerusalem location on May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the modern State of Israel. It was relocated from its previous site in Tel Aviv by the Donald Trump Administration and is situated in the Arnona section of the US Consulate. The opening prayer was delivered by the Evangelical Reverend Robert Jeffress, and the closing prayer was given by the Evangelical Reverend John C. Hagee.
The move came 23 years after the passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of October 23, 1995, which set a deadline of May 31, 1999, for the move. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations had all deferred the move. Eugene Kontorovich claimed that the decision to shift the US embassy to this area is tantamount to the United States recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land that it captured in the Six-Day War in 1967.
However, despite the move of the Embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump signed on June 4, 2018 an executive order postponing the move of the Embassy to Jerusalem, although it already moved to that city. He was required to sign the order since the Jerusalem Embassy Act requires the US Ambassador to have a permanent residence in Jerusalem, a condition not yet fulfilled.
The United States Embassy is currently located in the Arnona consular section of the current U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. The space houses the Ambassador and a small 50-member staff. The Ambassador will split his time between the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Embassy Branch Office, where many diplomatic functions would still be conducted. Most consular Functions of the still existing Consulate have been subsumed under Embassy authority.
The embassy straddles the 1949–67 Armistice line in Jerusalem, located partially in West Jerusalem and partially in no man's land. A senior United Nations official stated: "Under international law it is still occupied territory, because neither party had any right to occupy the area between the lines".
Impact of move
Palestinian officials warned that it could lead to an "inactive war" and violent protests. The Embassy's opening coincided with the bloodiest day of the 2018 Gaza border protests, with more than 57 Palestinians killed. French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said, "This decision contravenes international law and in particular the resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly".
The opening of a new US Embassy in Jerusalem led several other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem. Two days after the US Embassy opened, Guatemala moved its embassy to Israel back to Jerusalem. Paraguay also opened a Jerusalem embassy to Israel, citing the US precedent.
On October 18, 2018, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would be merging the Embassy and US Consulate General in Jerusalem into a single mission. The United States will continue conducting relations with the West Bank and Gaza through a newly-created Palestinian Affairs Unit which will operate from the Agron Site of the Jerusalem Embassy. While the decision was praised by the Israeli Government, Palestinian officials criticized the Trump Administration for siding with Israel's claim to Jerusalem and "Greater Israel".
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