President Donald Trump is likely to use his upcoming trip to Israel to announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a senior Republican official said Thursday.
On Wednesday it was reported that President Trump is planning a trip to Israel, his first ever to the Jewish state, and is in talks with Israeli officials regarding the trip.
Unconfirmed reports claim the date of May 22 is strongly being considered for the president’s visit. According to the report, the president will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum during his two-day, one-night stay in Israel.
A separate report published Thursday morning by Yediot Ahronot claimed President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel, though no change in the location of the US Embassy will be forthcoming.
But a Republican Congressman who led a fact-finding mission for a possible embassy move claimed the president would likely use his visit to Israel to announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital.
Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), who has oversight on American embassies around the world as House Oversight National Security Subcommittee Chairman, said the timing of President Trump’s trip to Israel was no accident.
The visit, he noted, coincides with the annual Jerusalem Day holiday in Israel, commemorating the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation.
Jerusalem Day will be celebrated in the evening of May 23 and day of May 24 this year, while Trump’s visit would likely span May 22 and part of May 23.
The timing of Trump’s trip is also notable in that no previous president has ever visited Israel so early in their administration.
“What better time could there be to announce the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem when you are over there celebrating with our Israeli friends this very important 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem,” DeSantis said.
“I think the announcement of that trip is a signal that it is more likely to happen than not, and will send a powerful signal to other countries around the world that America is back and will stand by our allies and will not let folks cower us into not doing the right thing.”