Donald Trump, White House Wish Israel a Happy Independence Day on Twitter

'We have no better friends anywhere,' Trump tweets, and alludes to the upcoming embassy move to Jerusalem; White House shares video of the president during his 2017 visit at the Western Wall

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Haaretz
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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
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Haaretz

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in support of the State of Israel on Wednesday, celebrating 70 years of the Jewish state.

His tweet addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly and referred to the upcoming U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"Best wishes to Prime Minister @Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence. We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!," the tweet said.

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Later Wednesday, the official handle of the White House on Twitter tweeted warm wishes to Israel as well, adding a video-reel of the president and his family during their visit to Israel last summer. The video shows Trump, wife Melania and daughter Ivanka visiting the Western Wall.

"Happy Independence Day to the people of Israel," the tweet reads. "America stands with!"

White House wishes Israel a happy independence dayCredit: The White House/ Twitter

Earlier, Netanyahu spoke at Israel's official Independence Day ceremony, marking the end of Memorial Day and the beginning of the celebrations of Israel's 70th year, and praised the country as a beacon of light. He also thanked Trump for his decision on Jerusalem.

At the same ceremony, President Reuven Rivlin thanked the U.S. for recognizing Jerusalem. "We must remember how lucky we are to be the generation that returned to Zion," he said. "The generation that saw Jerusalem rebuilt. This year we, our greatest ally, the U.S., recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. We are certain that more and more nations will recognize Jerusalem as well and join the U.S.," he said.

Netanyahu also issued a veiled warning to Iran, saying his country will defend itself against anyone that tries to harm it. The premier's remarks at a Memorial Day ceremony on Wednesday come amid rising tensions between Israel and Iran over an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria last week that left at least four Iranian military personnel dead.

On Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for "offensive plans against the enemy," without specifically naming Israel.

Netanyahu says Israel will stand firm against "continued incitement by our neighbors, a great many of whom refuse to come to terms with our existence," and cautions that "anyone who raises a hand against us won't be spared."

Netanyahu's remarks were delivered just hours before Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Israelis came to a two-minute standstill on Wednesday to remember fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism as the country marks Memorial Day, one of the most somber days on its calendar. Motorists pulled over on the sides of highways and roads, and pedestrians stopped in their tracks as a siren rang out at 11 a.m. A minute of silence was similarly observed on Tuesday evening.

Many Israelis visited cemeteries and attended remembrance ceremonies in wake of Memorial day, while radio and television networks broadcasted programs about battle and loss.

The melancholic atmosphere ends abruptly at sundown as Israel's 70th Independence Day celebrations begin.

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