Netanyahu: A great day for the people of Israel

Watch: Netanyahu hails U.S. announcement that it would move its embassy to Jerusalem in time for Israel's 70th Independence Day.

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Elad Benari, Canada,

Trump and Netanyahu
Trump and Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday hailed the U.S. announcement that it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May as “a great day for the people of Israel”.

“President Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day follows his historic declaration in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” he said in a statement issued by the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

“This decision will turn Israel’s 70th Independence Day into an even bigger celebration. Thank you President Trump for your leadership and friendship,” it added.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon also welcomed the announcement by the United States.

“President Trump’s bold decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem this May, in honor of our seventieth Independence Day, is a testament to the unbreakable alliance and true friendship between the U.S. and Israel,” said Ambassador Danon.

“The time is now for all UN member-states to follow in the footsteps of the U.S. and declare that they too recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” he added.

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) also welcomed the American announcement on Twitter.

“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump, the President of the US, on his decision to transfer the US Embassy to our capital on Israel's 70th Independence Day. There is no greater gift than that! The most just and correct move. Thanks friend!” he wrote.

Earlier on Friday, the State Department confirmed that the United States will open a new embassy in Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day.

The embassy will be in located in the building that houses the consular operation in Jerusalem before moving to a separate annex by the end of 2019, the State Department said.

Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a central campaign promise of President Donald Trump’s. In December, he announced that he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the State Department to begin preparations for the embassy move.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)