Trump Applauds Israel’s 70th Anniversary, Says U.S Has ‘No Better Friends Anywhere’

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House on March 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump said he 'may' attend the opening of a controversial new US embassy in Jerusalem, a fraught prospect designed to underscore …
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his fellow Israelis on the country’s 70th anniversary, saying the United States has “no better friends anywhere” than Israel.

“Best wishes to Prime Minister  and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence,” Trump tweeted. “We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!”

Mr. Netanyahu, who retweeted Trump’s message shortly after its publication, took his turn to respond in kind a few hours later.

“Thank you, President Trump! We too have no better friend than America. We are greatly looking forward to your moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital,” he tweeted.

President Donald Trump is accelerating the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with the transition now expected to occur by 2019 — several years ahead of the original schedule.

Israel chose Wednesday evening to begin celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding on May 14, 1948. Israel marks Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar, on the 5th of Iyar — which this year falls on Thursday, April 19.

As Israelis paused to begin their celebrations, the fragile nature of their continued existence was reinforced at a boder post.

Officials said a large-scale terror attack planned for Independence Day had been averted after security officials arrested a Palestinian at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank on Wednesday with a “powerful explosive device” stashed in his truck.

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