Issues

Report: U.S. Plans to Move Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on May 14

Thousands of Israelis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's old city for Passover in 2011
Thousands of Israelis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's old city for Passover in 2011 / Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on May 14, according to Israeli officials.

Israeli officials told Axios that an "interim embassy" will be assembled at the consular annex in West Jerusalem, a building that currently handles visas and passports. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman will move to the interim embassy with a small staff until a permanent location for the embassy can be determined.

The Associated Press also tweeted out the update Friday morning.

Moving the embassy on May 14, the 70th anniversary of the day Israel declared its independence, is much sooner than expected. On an official visit to Israel last month, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the embassy would not be moved until at least the end of 2019 to adequately account for security concerns.

In December, President Donald Trump officially moved to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiated plans to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. Congress passed legislation in 1995 to accomplish the move but succeeding presidents had not followed through on the grounds of security.