US President Donald Trump has told Israel that he is planning to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem this year, Israeli website Wallah revealed on Tuesday. Trump is apparently putting pressure on the relevant government departments in Washington to coordinate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to get the relocation procedures started.
"President Trump sent a clear message that he wants to start relocation of the embassy soon," a White House source said. "He stressed that work is going to start as soon as possible in 2018."
Although it is known that no new building is readily available for the embassy, sources claim that it is moving to a "diplomatic hotel" in Jerusalem.
Israel occupied West Jerusalem in 1948 and East Jerusalem in 1967. In 1980, the government announced that it had annexed Jerusalem and that the city was Israel's "undivided" capital. Last month, Trump recognised Jerusalem as the "eternal capital" of Israel and announced plans to relocate the US embassy to the holy city. Under international law, Jerusalem is still occupied territory.