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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Senior US sources said President Donald Trump has already decided to extend the order which prevents the US Embassy in Israel from being transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, 360 reporter Ariel Kahana said.

A US source said Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already been informed of Trump's decision.

Recently, both governments agreed that this would not be the best time to move the Embassy, and US officials said Israel did not want to deal with the matter at present and had requested Trump delay the move.

The Israeli government is not surprised by Trump's decision, but they are still very disappointed. The expectation was that Trump would make an announcement regarding Jerusalem during his upcoming May 22 visit to Israel.

However, the expectation currently is that Trump will push Israel to renew negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, who will be the main focus of Trump's visit.

The next US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, apparently received the news before it was told to Israel.

Friedman is scheduled to take office next week.

Last week, Friedman was instructed to hold official Embassy events in at the Ambassador's House in Herzliya, since he himself will be living in Jerusalem.

The last communication on the issue was received from Vice President Mike Pence, when he said that the Trump administration was obligated to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as promised during the election campaign.

"President Trump is still seriously considering moving the Embassy to Jerusalem in honor of Israel's 69th birthday," Pence said then.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office on Wednesday responded to the report that President Trump had decided to extend the order preventing the US Embassy from being moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu's office has not received any notice about a decision by the US government to move or not to move the US Embassy," an official notice said.

"Israel's stance is that all the embassies belong in Israel's capital of Jerusalem, and the US Embassy should be one of the first to move." 

In a related development, INN reported on Sunday that Approximately 30 C-17 US transport aircraft will land in Israel, carrying hundreds of tons of equipment, cars, and people in preparation for US President Donald Trump's presidential visit to Israel, Israel's Channel 2 reported.

The airlift is a complex logistical operation, which includes bringing 56 vehicles, including 14 limousines, to Israel.

Among the vehicles is the president's armed limousine.

The US planes will also bring three trucks filled with armored glass, which will be installed in the hotel Trump will stay in.

The report also said the planes would bring a US delegation of 900 people, including doctors, security personnel, computer experts, logistics teams, appointment setters, and several important White House officials, who will accompany Trump during his first presidential visit abroad and ensure everything runs smoothly and as planned.

The entire visit will cost approximately $100 million taxpayer dollars.

By: Nitsan Keidar
(INN)