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Pence: US Embassy to move to Jerusalem in 2019

A view of the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem’s Old City seen from the Mount of Olives on Dec. 6, 2017. President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6 and instructed the State Department to begin the multiyear process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty; caption amended by RNS)

(USA Today) — Vice President Mike Pence announced that the U.S. Embassy in Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2019.

Pence made the announcement Monday (Jan. 22) at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Pence for standing up for the “truth” and supporting Israel at the United Nations. He said the U.S. and Israel have a “shared destiny.”

Netanyahu said President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the country’s capital last month was one of the most historic in Israel’s history.

“America has no greater friend than Israel, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America,” he said.


READ: Pence roots administration’s support for Israel in faith


Palestinians and Arab Israelis boycotted Pence’s visit after Trump broke with decades of U.S. policy by announcing the embassy move.

Arab lawmakers were told to leave Israel’s parliament for heckling Pence at the beginning of his speech.

Israel sees Jerusalem as its “eternal” capital and Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Other nations, including the U.S., established their embassies in Tel Aviv in an attempt to stay neutral. Previous U.S. presidents have said that the decision on Israel’s capital must come from a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.


READ: Was Trump right about Jerusalem?


(Contributing: Gregory Korte, the Associated Press)

This story is available for republication.

About the author

Jane Onyanga-Omara / USA Today

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