Israeli forces suppress protest against United States decision over Jerusalem

Israeli forces shot tear gas canisters at protesters who marched to express rejection of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Donald Trump in December announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordering the embassy transfer, reversing decades of USA and global policy and enraging the Arab world and many allies. Officials said Friedman had pushed to move the embassy this year, but Tillerson had successfully persuaded the President for more time to upgrade the security of the new facility.

One State Department official familiar with the process told CBS News private donations would make it more hard to reverse Mr. Trump's decision to move the embassy in the future.

Palestinians will see Trump's announcement as the end of their hopes and demands for East Jerusalem as a capital of a future independent state.

Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948. Originally it was assumed the changeover would take three or four years.

Meanwhile, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official has said Washington's decision to open its embassy in May to coincide with Nakba Day "is a provocation to Arabs".

The Associated Press reported that President Donald Trump's administration is considering an offer from billionaire Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The most likely plan would be to locate the embassy at a U.S. facility in Jerusalem's south-eastern Talpiyot neighbourhood, now used for consular affairs including passport and visa processing. Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem since 1967.

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The move was further clouded in confusion in January, when Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, said plans to build a new embassy in Jerusalem had been abandoned because such construction would be "cost-prohibitive".

"There is no greater gift than that!"

Kathy Bethany, the former cost management director for the State Department's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, said she couldn't recall any instances of the USA government accepting donations to build embassies during her tenure, which ended in 2014.

"Initially, the embassy will consist of just a few offices inside an existing U.S. facility in Jerusalem".

Trump said his recognition of Jerusalem - making good on a 2016 campaign pledge - marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump said many previous presidents had made the move an election promise but failed to fulfill it. "But I get it", he said. Asked specifically about whether the security infrastructure would be adequate in that time frame, he said, simply, "We'll be fine".


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