Israel

Updated 2:55 p.m. ET

The United States is now the first country with an embassy to Israel located in Jerusalem, the disputed city claimed as a capital by both Israeli and Palestinian people.

The new embassy was dedicated on Monday in a ceremony attended by Israeli leaders and senior White House advisers.

Come Monday, Jerusalem will be the official home of the U.S. Embassy to Israel.

Vice President Pence says the U.S. will complete the plan to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, announcing a faster timeline for opening the embassy than had been previously reported. Pence announced the new deadline during his visit to Israel.

"In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem — and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year," Pence said.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly rejected the Trump administration's decision to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. By a 128-9 vote Thursday, the diplomats gathered in New York City ignored U.S. objections and approved a nonbinding resolution calling on countries to avoid moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says his people no longer want the U.S. involved in brokering any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, after President Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week.

Abbas called Trump's actions a crime and said he'll appeal to the United Nations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Friday that the U.S. is no longer qualified to sponsor a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians because of President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

via COMER.HOUSE.GOV, CROPPED

Republican U.S. Congressman James Comer of Kentucky joins a delegation to Israel this week to discuss foreign policy and national security issues.

President Trump emphasized his commitment to end the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying there's a "very good chance" for a peace deal and vowing to do "whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement."

Trump's remarks came in a joint statement following a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on Wednesday.

"We'll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace," Trump said, standing alongside the Palestinian leader.

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says his recent trip to Israel mission was meant to prove he is an ally of the Middle Eastern nation. Many pro-Israel groups are wary of the senator, because of his calls to reduce foreign aid.

The Madrid Conference of 1991 was an attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel, Palestine, and neighboring Arab countries. With quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East, Palestinian militants now targeting Tel Aviv with missiles, Commentator and History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy says now is the time for the White House to initiate a second Madrid Conference.