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Watch: Netanyahu Hails ‘Historic Moment’ Following Announcement of U.S. Embassy Move in May

DEBORAH DANAN

TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday hailed the U.S.’ announcement that it would be moving its embassy to Jerusalem in time for the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence as a “great moment for the citizens of Israel.” The prime minister is also expected to invite President Donald Trump to inaugurate the embassy in May, Israeli media reported.

“This is a great moment for the citizens of Israel and this is an historic moment for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“We will celebrate it together, all citizens of Israel. This will have significant and historic long-range implications. On behalf of the entire government and people, I would like to thank President Trump for both his leadership and his friendship. President Trump, you are a great friend of the State of Israel and we all thank you,” he said.

His words echoed those he made in a video statement Saturday, in which Netanyahu said the move marked “a great moment for the State of Israel.”

“The decision by President Trump to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day, will make the celebrations even more joyful,” said Netanyahu.

“Thank you President Trump, thank you for your leadership, and your strong friendship,” Netanyahu added.

Netanyahu will likely ask Trump to inaugurate the embassy at its new location in Arnona, Jerusalem, Channel 2 news reported on Saturday night.

Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said the move affirmed the two countries’ “unbreakable alliance.”

“President Trump’s bold decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem this May, in honor of our 70th Independence Day, is a testament to the unbreakable alliance and true friendship between the U.S. and Israel,” said Danon.

“The time is now for all UN member-states to follow in the footsteps of the U.S. and declare that they too recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” the envoy added.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer noted that on the same date in 1948, then-president Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel and now in 2018,  Trump will reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as the state’s capital with the transfer.

“70 years apart. Two historic decisions. One united capital,” Dermer said on Twitter.

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