Trump Undecided On Attending Jerusalem Embassy Opening, White House Says

US President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and in the Rose Garden 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 …
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump is still undecided about whether he will travel to Israel in May to inaugurate the new U.S. embassy to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary, the White House said Tuesday.

In response to a report from Channel 2 news that said Trump would not be coming in the end, White House spokesman Michael Anton said the matter was “not decided.”

In a press briefing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office earlier this month, Trump was asked whether he would attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the embassy’s new location.

“I may. I may,” he said. “We’re looking at coming. If I can, I will.”

The announcement that the U.S. would bring forward the Jerusalem embassy opening sparked outrage among the Palestinians, prompting calls for protests in the West Bank and Gaza.

Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas has warned the protests against the embassy move may take a violent turn as “tens of thousands” of Gazans plan to storm the borders, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said earlier in the month.

The embassy transfer will happen piecemeal and during the first stage only Ambassador David Friedman and a small team will operate out of the U.S. existing consular building in south Jerusalem. Later on, the U.S. will establish permanent premises in the capital.

 

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