The administration of Donald Trump is considering an offer from billionaire donor and Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson to fund the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and uncompromising supporter of Israel, has offered to pay the difference between the total cost of the embassy and what the Trump administration is capable of harvesting, the Associated Press said Friday. .
US State Department lawyers are investigating the legality of accepting private donations to cover all or part of the embassy costs, US officials said, who were not allowed to publicly discuss the issue. to demand anonymity.
The total cost of building the new embassy to replace the current one in Tel Aviv is estimated at about $ 500 million. It is unclear how much money Adelson would be willing to cover.
The State Department said it had “nothing to announce” and “no confirmation or details on this hypothetical proposal”.
The discussions are taking place as the Trump administration plans to officially open a temporary embassy in May, more than a year ahead of schedule.
The planned opening of the embassy in May coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Day of Disaster) Day, marking the anniversary of the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.
A US official said the administration could solicit contributions not only from Adelson, but also from other donors in the US Zionist and Jewish communities.
However, it is unclear whether government lawyers would give the green light to accept donations from Adelson or anyone else.
Allowing private citizens to finance the costs of an official government building would be a significant departure from historical practice.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the decision showed that Trump was determined to destroy the prospects for a two-state solution and “to provoke the feelings of the Palestinian people.”
Allowing donations to Adelson or others would pose a significant political risk to Trump. The president is already subject to major criticism from Palestinians and others for declaring the disputed city of Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel.
In December, Trump announced that the United States would relocate their embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City, triggering mass protests in the Palestinian territories and around the world.
For years, Adelson pushed the US government to move his embassy to Al-Quds.
Adelson, who donated $ 5 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, is one of the biggest supporters of the Republican Party and a big supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson also funds Israel Hayom, a pro-Netanyahu newspaper that is distributed free of charge throughout Israel.