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Published on 22 January 2018

#Israel - Pence Tells Israeli Lawmakers: U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Will Open Before End of 2019

In special Knesset session, Netanyahu calls Trump's Jerusalem move one of momentous decisions in Zionism's history.

Publised on Janurary 22nd in Haaretz

In language steeped in Biblical references, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addressed a special session of Knesset on Monday, on the first day of his visit in Israel and announced that the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will open by the end of 2019.

In his remarks, Pence said America was committed to forging a "lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians" and called on the Palestinians – who are boycotting his visit – to return to the negotiating table.

As Pence began his staunchly pro-Israel speech, Arab lawmakers protested, unfurling signs proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of Palestine that were immediately ripped down by some of their Jewish colleague. The lawmakers were then promptly removed from the Knesset floor.

Pence called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace negotiations. "Now we know Israelis want peace," he said. "The people of Israel know the price all too well." He urged Palestinian leadership to "return to the table," adding that "peace can only come through dialogue."

As he spoke, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to speak in Brussels before European Union foreign ministers and ask for their countries recognition of a Palestinian state.

Raising the contentious issue of the location of the U.S. Embassy, Pence said, "In the weeks ahead our administration will advance its plan to open the embassy in Jerusalem And that embassy will open before the end of next year," he said to a standing ovation.

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