Trump decides to not move US Embassy to Jerusalem

In fact, when the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1995 requiring the move its embassy to Jerusalem, the Israeli leader at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, was said to be hesitant.

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all signed the waivers.

That means six months from now, Trump will have to make the choice again.

With a deadline looming, Trump made the decision to defer action on the embassy to maximise the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests, the White House said.

Signing the presidential waiver should not be viewed as "a retreat from the President's strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance", the statement read. Control of it remains one of the core issues preventing Palestinians and Israeli peace.

But since taking office, Trump has heard repeatedly from foreign leaders and Mideast experts warning him that such a move could terminate his push for a Mideast peace deal even before it gets started.

"And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis", Trump said during his first visit to Israel as president.

The US embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 14, 2016.

Israel's prime minister says the US decision not to move its embassy to Jerusalem has hurt the prospects for peace with the Palestinians.

The Israeli government has persistently argued the exact opposite.

"This would be particularly problematic for Jordan given its special role in Jerusalem (custodian for holy places in the city), but it would have been a challenge to other USA allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia", Al-Omari added. But President Donald Trump pledged to move it to Jerusalem during his campaign. "This would send the message that we are in Jerusalem to stay". Trump has cited a telephone call from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a driver behind his decision.

Trump, after visiting both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Middle East earlier this month, signaled that he believes peace between the two could be at hand.

Trump's decision not to move the embassy for now was not, however, completely unexpected. "You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement [against Israel]", he allegedly said to Abbas, according to Israel's Channel 2 broadcaster. The State Department, however recommended against an embassy move, one USA official said. "We are serious and genuine about achieving a just and lasting peace".

Following pressure and warnings from US partners in the Arab world, US President Donald Trump toed the traditional American policy line Thursday by renewing a waiver to halt moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

He is expected to sign the waiver, at least for now, as he seeks ways to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. In the wake of Trump's announcement, social media has seemingly come to a consensus: Trump broke a campaign promise.

  • Leroy Wright