Trump waives law requiring US move its embassy to Jerusalem
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 02, 2017,
Jun 02, 2017, 6:55
And Abbas has long said moving the embassy to Jerusalem could shatter chances for peace talks.
Signing the waiver this week would forestall any move for another six months.
One senior administration official said the final decision hasn't been officially made, but that paperwork to both keep the embassy in Tel Aviv and move it to Jerusalem has been presented to the West Wing for Trump's approval.
After getting into the Oval Office, Trump said he'd study the issue.
A senior administration official told CNN Thursday that the embassy will move when conditions are right. Lawmakers later passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, signed into law by President Clinton, which authorized the U.S.to move the embassy to Jerusalem by 1999 with one caveat - the president could indefinitely delay the move by signing a waiver, citing national security concerns.
The praise from Palestinian and Arab leaders and the protest from Israelis showed just how far Trump has shifted from the unwavering support for Israel's policies that he expressed during the 2016 campaign.
The Office of the White House Press Secretary said that the president has always been consistent about his intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and it was only a question of timing to go ahead with it. "The question is not if that move happens, but only when". He said that with "determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible", Israelis and Palestinians could make a deal.
More than half of Jordan's citizens are of Palestinian descent.
Asked whether Trump would sign the waiver, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday: "Once we have a decision, we'll put it out", adding there would be "something very soon on that".
The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday that either Trump or vice-president Mike Pence are due to participate, in what could be interpreted as the first tacit recognition by the White House of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The US embassy in Tel Aviv.
Most countries have their embassies located in Tel Aviv. I am telling you, that's what I do.
White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Sean Spicer stated on Wednesday that the Trump administration continued to weigh the possible move of the nation's embassy, as the U.S. leader had still not made a final decision on the matter.
President Donald Trump has decided not move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem for the time being, with the White House insisting that his signing of a legal waiver keeping it in Tel Aviv does not signal his shying away from a major campaign promise.
Relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem - the seat of Israeli government - is hugely controversial because Palestinians insist on East Jerusalem being the capital of their future state, whereas Israeli leaders say the city must remain undivided. Israel captured east Jerusalem - claimed by Palestinians for the capital of a future independent state - from Jordan in 1967 and annexed it, in a move not internationally recognized.