The United States reportedly has signed an agreement to develop a plot of land in Jerusalem on which a new embassy will be built.
The United States, along with most other foreign countries, has never officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, maintaining only consular offices there while keeping its embassy in Tel Aviv.
According to a recent issue of The Jerusalem Report, construction at the site in southern Jerusalem will be completed in 1999, the time by which Israel and the Palestinians are expected to have signed an agreement on the final status of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Israeli sources quoted in the article said that when Israel and the Palestinians resolve all outstanding issues regarding Jerusalem, the United States will declare the building its new embassy.
Construction at the site has been held up because Israel insisted that the United States recognize the site as the future location of its embassy.
American officials opposed this, and a compromise was finally reached by defining the compound as a place for “diplomatic use,” where “a very senior diplomat” would live.