US embassy in Israel changes Twitter handle to Jerusalem

US embassy in Israel changes Twitter handle to Jerusalem
2 min read
The US embassy in Israel has changed its Twitter handle to reflect the embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next week.
The US will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem next week [Getty]

The US Embassy in Israel changed its Twitter handle to reflect the move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Thursday, which is due to take place next week.

The embassy wrote on Thursday that the @usembassyta account on Twitter had been changed to "@USEmbassyJerusalem." The correct account handle is @USEmbassyjlm.

The embassy has yet to change its account's backdrop from the Tel Aviv coastline to Jerusalem, saying it is "still looking for a suitable header photo".

The Trump administration is fulfilling a campaign promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which would be de facto recognition of the city as Israel's capital - something that almost all countries in the world refuse to do.

The decision has enraged Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem - which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war - as a capital of their future state.

Nearly all countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv.

The embassy transfer ceremony is slated for Monday.

Last December, US President Donald Trump broke with decades of policy in Washington by officially recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and pledged to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

Since that declaration 27 Palestinians and two Israelis have been killed in violence. Arab and Muslim leaders have warned that there could be a further escalation if the embassy is moved.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day war, as the capital of the state to which they aspire. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital.

There is a broad international consensus that the dispute must be resolved as part of a two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Embassies in Israel are therefore in Tel Aviv, not in Jerusalem.

The US State Department said that Ambassador David Friedman would initially work out of the large US consulate general in the Arnona neighbourhood of Jerusalem, situated between the east and west sides of the city.

Eventually a permanent embassy building would be constructed, it said.

The relatively new consulate complex, on the edge of Jerusalem adjacent to Jewish and Palestinian residential neighbourhoods, could pose potential challenges to US and Israeli security personnel.