Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner Expected to Attend Jerusalem Embassy Opening, Officials Say

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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stand in the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, September 11, 2017.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stand in the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, September 11, 2017.Credit: Bloomberg

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, both advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump, are expected to represent the U.S. administration at the opening ceremony of the American Embassy in Jerusalem in May, Israeli officials confirmed Sunday.

The official said American senators and members of the House of Representatives will attend, too. According to Channel 10, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin will also be in attendance.

The U.S. State Department is planning for the move to take place on May 14th, Israel's 70th Independence Day according to the Gregorian calendar. In Israel, Independence Day is celebrated on its Jewish date, which fell on April 19 this year.

Last week, the White House did not respond to a Haaretz inquiry on whether Ivanka Trump, the U.S. president's daughter, and her husband, Jared Kushner, would attend the ceremony.

At a reception for foreign diplomats to mark the country's 70th Independence Day last Thursday, Netanyahu told the envoys that Israel would help the first 10 countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem, both economically and bureaucratically.

“There are two things you can do to help Israel celebrate this great Independence Day,” he said. “The first thing is – speak out against Iran. Iran is the enemy of us all – of Israel, the Arab world, of civilization. ... The second thing you can do to advance peace is to move your embassy here.”

So far, only the United States and Guatemala have announced clear intentions to actually move their embassies to Jerusalem. In Honduras, the Congress voted to support moving its embassy, but the decision is not binding.

The U.S. embassy will initially be located in a facility in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood that currently handles consular affairs, such as passports and visas. At first, it will only acommodate U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and a small staff. The State Department said the site of a future permanent embassy has yet to be found.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said last month that he was seeking an exemption from planning regulations to ensure that the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem can be upgraded to become the American Embassy in time for its move there.

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