Israel's Prime Minister says the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem 'within the year'

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the US would move its embassy to Jerusalem “within the year.”
  • Netanyahu based his statements on “solid assessment,” but declined to provide further details.
  • Netanyahu’s remarks conflict with statements made by Rex Tillerson, who last month said the US embassy would not be moved for at least three years or more.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the US would move its embassy to Jerusalem “within the year.”

Netanyahu’s comments came during a state visit to India, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. He told reporters travelling with him that the move was part of US policy changes that had “never happened before.”

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu based his remarks on a “solid assessment,” but declined to provide further details.

Netanyahu added that several of US President Donald Trump’s policy decisions, including his opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal and the US’ decision to withhold $US65 million in aid to Palestinian organisations were part of policies that were geared toward strengthened relations between the US and Israel.

The Prime Minister’s statements conflict with previous assertions made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who last month said the US embassy would not move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for at least three years or more.

The US made the decision to move the embassy last month after Trump declared his support for naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced he would order the relocation of the US embassy as a goodwill gesture to Israel.

Trump’s controversial decision has caused outrage across the world. Arab countries decried the decision, and said that the US had created a “death sentence” for peace, while the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to condemn the decision.

On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas railed against the US’ Middle East policy. Abbas said that Trump’s actions were a “slap in the face” to his people. He promised that the Palestinians would “slap back.”

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