Macau (MNA) – The United States Government is considering accepting a donation by casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson to help build a controversial new embassy in Jerusalem, British newspaper The Times said on Saturday.
According to the information, that The Times claims four sources corroborated, the U.S. State Department is checking to see if such a move would be legal.
Mr. Adelson is one of the largest donors to the United States Republican party and a supporter of Israel. He is also the head of Sands, Venetian and other integrated resorts in Macau SAR.
The United States said Friday it will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May, bringing forward the contested move to coincide with the Jewish state’s 70th birthday — and enraging Palestinians, who called it a “blatant provocation.”
Palestinians object to recognition of the disputed city as Israel’s capital and say the embassy move could destroy a two-state solution to the decades-old Middle East conflict.
Palestinians also object to the date chosen for the embassy move — they call May 14, on which Israel declared independence in 1948, Naqba, their “day of catastrophe.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement and thanked US President Donald Trump for his “leadership” and his “friendship.”
The embassy move is expected to complicate efforts to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians — and jeopardize the traditional, if disputed, US role as an “honest broker” in efforts to resolve one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.
The new embassy will be initially located in a US consular building in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighbourhood while Washington searches for a permanent location, “the planning and construction of which will be a longer-term undertaking,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Trump broke with decades of policy in December to announce US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and a pledge to move the embassy, drawing near global condemnation, enraging the Palestinians and sparking days of unrest in the Palestinian territories.
It ruptured generations of international consensus that Jerusalem’s status should be settled as part of a two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.