The US Embassy UU In Israel it could be relocated to Jerusalem in 2019, a much faster movement than the State Department had previously anticipated.
The New York Times reported Friday that the State Department decided to transfer the embassy to an existing consular building in the Arnona neighborhood in western Jerusalem, instead of building a new facility altogether.
That plan will make the move significantly less expensive and allows US Ambassador David Friedman and the embassy staff to move to Jerusalem as early as 2019.
Friedman reportedly pressured to move the embassy in 2018, according to the Times. But the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Rex Wayne TillersonDecline on US travel drives business impulse for visitors Night defense: Republican presidency blames Democrats for defense budget delay | The FDA and the Pentagon accelerate the approval of drugs on the battlefield | Mattis calls the situation of North Korea & # 39; instructive & # 39; Mattis: the North Korean situation & # 39; instructive & # 39; MORE Lobbied President Trump Donald John TrumpDems flip Senate Session of the State of Wisconsin Sessions: We should be like Canada & # 39; on how we take on immigrants Republican Rep: "Scrap & Junk & # 39; throughout Haiti MORE on Thursday for more time to improve the security of consular buildings.
The Arnona building is relatively new, although it would need to be secured to allow the ambassador to conduct classified operations, according to The Times.
After Trump announced in December that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the State Department estimated that it would take years to complete the move.
However, that schedule was based on the assumption that a new embassy building would be built. Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that his administration was still planning to "make a beautiful embassy" in Jerusalem, "but not one costing $ 1.2 billion."