Trump Waives Law Requiring US Move Its Embassy to Jerusalem

Michele Moreno
June 2, 2017

Stepping back from a campaign promise, President Donald Trump on Thursday decided not to move the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least for the next six months.

Trump's move to renew the waiver for six months keeps the USA embassy in Tel Aviv for now.

Trump promised throughout the 2016 campaign that he would move the USA embassy from to Jerusalem, an action the Israeli government has long advocated.

Trump promised throughout the 2016 campaign that he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, an action the Israeli government has long advocated. Every president since 1995 has signed the waiver leaving the embassy in Tel Aviv, as stipulated in the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

Experts had been cautioning the administration that the move could jeopardize prospects for revived Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, and lead to possible violence, which is why Mr. Trump's predecessors in the White House have also signed the waiver to delay the relocation of the embassy. President Barack Obama signed it during the last weeks of his term, and on Thursday it will be half a year since he did so.

No Israeli government, including Netanyahu's, has wished to create conflict with the insisting on the embassy move, says leading Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea.

The Palestinian ambassador to Washington, Husam Zomlot, said the move "gives peace a chance".

His administration intends to make clear, however, that Trump remains committed to the promise he made during the 2016 presidential campaign, though it will not set a specific timetable for doing so, officials said. 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.

Israel re-captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

His office said it believes all embassies should be based in what it called Israel's "eternal capital". Trump avoided any public mention of a potential embassy move during his visit to Israel and the West Bank in May.

Jerusalem's status is one of the most emotionally charged matters separating the Israelis and Palestinians.

Two competing groups of senior Trump administration officials have been waging war over this issue for over four months now, since the transition period before Trump took office. "For him, it is a matter of when not if the United States embassy is moved to Jerusalem". The US president has said he is reviewing whether to fulfil his campaign promise to move the facility to Jerusalem.

When told that Trump said he will move the embassy later, Steinitz says: "I hope that happens before the Messiah comes". The long-standing USA position is that Jerusalem's fate must be worked out through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Other reports by Insurance News

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