US weighs designating embassy in Jerusalem as early as 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is considering a plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as early as next year, rather than waiting for several years.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said previously that planning is under way for a new facility in Jerusalem that will take at least three years. In the meantime, three U.S. officials say Tillerson may designate an existing U.S. consular building in West Jerusalem as the interim embassy. The officials say Tillerson hasn’t made a decision.

The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the situation by name and demanded anonymity.

Two of the officials say Vice President Mike Pence is pushing the State Department to accept the proposal quickly so Pence can announce it while in Israel. Pence departs Friday for the Middle East.

.