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Adelson offers to help Trump administration pay for US Jerusalem embassy

Adelson offers to help Trump administration pay for US Jerusalem embassy

The donor offered funding for the embassy at about the same time that the president announced in December that the embassy would move to Jerusalem and that the United States would officially recognize that city as Israel's capital.

"We're planning to open the new US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May", the US official told the Post.

Palestinians will see Trump's announcement as the end of their hopes and demands for East Jerusalem as a capital of a future independent state.

Palestinians reacted to the news with anger.

In the Jerusalem case, it would add yet another layer of controversy to Trump's politically charged decision to move the embassy, given Adelson's longstanding affiliation with right-wing Israeli politics. He said that ultimately, his administration "did the right thing".

Daniel Shapiro, a former USA ambassador to Israel under President Obama, agrees that the embassy belongs in Jerusalem but that the Trump administration has failed to give the proper assurances especially to the Palestinians.

Administration officials have suggested that a longer timeframe may have helped to keep peace efforts alive while sparing the United States the sensitive issue of choosing a site for the embassy.

Goldstein said State Department lawyers were looking at the legality of such a gift but Adelson has not made a formal request and no formal talks have taken place, suggesting nothing is imminent.

"It will turn Israel's 70th Independence Day into an even greater national celebration", Netanyahu said in a statement posted on Twitter by the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

The Jerusalem embassy move is to mark Israel's 70th anniversary, the official added.

The embassy move is expected to complicate efforts to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians - and jeopardise the traditional, if disputed, U.S. role as an "honest broker" in efforts to resolve one of the world's most intractable conflicts.

"The hardest deal to make of any kind is between the Israelis and Palestinians", Trump told reporters Friday at the White House.

But the move was derided by Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who said that it showed the determination of the Trump administration to "destroy the two-state solution".



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