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US envoy to Israel lives in a luxe rental, a Trump legacy

US envoy to Israel lives in a luxe rental, a Trump legacy
JERUSALEM: There’s no plaque on the gate of the U.S. ambassador’s new residence in Jerusalem, no Stars and Stripes visible, no official listing as a notable overseas property.
The official residence of the American envoy is a rental and temporary, officials said, secured after two years of house-hunting in the wake of then-President Donald Trump‘s controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Ambassador Tom Nides moved into the sleekly renovated villa in west Jerusalem’s leafy German Colony sometime last spring. Local real estate agents estimate its value at around $23 million, and its owner and the embassy confirmed it is being leased as the U.S. envoy’s official residence.
Emek Refaim Street is the latest stop for the American ambassador’s home on a more than three-year migration from the seaside cliffs north of Tel Aviv to tension-filled Jerusalem. The journey reflects the Trump administration’s divisive legacy and the reluctance of President Joe Biden — who will visit the region next month — to roil relations with Israel over the issue.
Trump upended decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, drawing plaudits from many Israelis and infuriating the Palestinians.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv because of the long-running dispute.
Trump moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, and with it the storied residence of the U.S. ambassador. Under various presidents, the envoy had previously been housed in a sprawling, five-bedroom seaside compound built on an acre (nearly one-half hectare) of land, which…

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