US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides has moved into a new home in Jerusalem and his embassy has filed a request to the Foreign Ministry to recognize the building as the envoy’s official residence, a US official confirmed to The Times of Israel on Sunday.
The building is located on Emek Refaim Street, in Jerusalem’s upscale German Colony neighborhood.
Nides had been mostly staying at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the capital since arriving in Israel last November.
The old US ambassador’s residence was a seaside compound in the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya, but it was sold by the Trump administration to the late casino mogul Sheldon Adelson in 2020, after the former president moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.
Israeli Tax Authority documents showed that Adelson paid NIS 230 million ($67 million, according to the conversion rate at the time) for the thousand-square-meter (10,760-square-foot) residence, the largest residential real estate deal in the country’s history.
The sale was seen as having been designed to prevent future administrations from rolling back the embassy move.
Adelson, who was a Republican mega-donor who also owned the free Israel Hayom daily, was reportedly one of the main people behind the push to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, heavily lobbying Trump to go forward with the move.
But Biden administration officials made clear from the get-go that they never planned to reverse the move and Nides told US senators at his confirmation hearing that he would be living in Jerusalem and respects the decision by the previous administration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Nearly all countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv because of the dispute over East Jerusalem.