US Ambassador-designate to Israel David Friedman
US Ambassador-designate to Israel David Friedman REUTERS

Amid reports regarding progress on the possible relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, a senior Jerusalem city official claims the Trump administration has already dispatched architects involved in the planning and design of American diplomatic facilities to Israel.

Earlier on Sunday, Channel 2 reported that, according to a Trump administration official, the White House was planning an announcement on Monday regarding the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Following the publication of that unverified claim, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the new administration was currently examining the subject, but emphasized that deliberations had only just begun.

"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," Spicer told AFP.

On Sunday night, Jerusalem City Councilman and Deputy Mayor Meir Turjemon told Channel 10 that in fact preliminary work on a new embassy in Jerusalem had already begun, claiming that a US government architect responsible for designing American diplomatic facilities were examining possible building sites in the Israeli capital.

“The architect who designs American embassies around the world has already arrived in Israel to examine the conditions in the field,” Turjemon is quoted as saying.

According to the report, three sites already used by the US State Department are now under consideration for use by the embassy.

The first is the US Consulate facility and nearby Diplomat Hotel in the Arnona neighborhood; the second is the US Consulate office near the Old City of Jerusalem; and the third is the Consulate office across from Independence Park.

No Trump administration officials have confirmed the Channel 10 report.