Waiver Signed: Donald Trump Delays Moving Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Posted June 02, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to continue the policy of the previous three presidents and sign the presidential waiver delaying the move of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, according to a report published on Wednesday by CNN.

"While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President's strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance", Spicer said.

A senior administration official said Wednesday that Trump still supports the move but believes with the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians at hand, now may not be the best time to anger the Palestinians by moving the embassy to contested land.

Another administration official said the decision to sign the waiver was not yet final and that paperwork both to move the embassy to Jerusalem and to keep it in Tel Aviv had been presented to the president.

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The Palestinians are praising President Donald Trump's decision not to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, saying it strengthens the chances of peace.

For nearly 70 years, the us embassy has been based in Tel Aviv - along with embassies of almost all other countries with relations to Israel - because the USA has wanted Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations to determine the final status of Jerusalem.

Momani says the president's decision shows "how much the administration values the advice of its allies" and that the focus must be on relaunching serious Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Despite that, most experts are skeptical of Trump's chances for achieving a peace deal that eluded other United States presidents.

A senior Israeli official is expressing disappointment over Trump's decision against relocating the embassy to Jerusalem and is accusing the USA of caving in to Arab pressure.

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The exterior of the US Embassy building in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on January 20, 2017.

When told that Trump said he will move the embassy later, Steinitz says: "I hope that happens before the Messiah comes". If it is not signed by then, the U.S. government will be legally obligated to proceed with moving the embassy. The US president has said he is reviewing whether to fulfil his campaign promise to move the facility to Jerusalem. He was in the process of negotiating peace with the Palestinians, who also had political claims to Jerusalem.

Trump had been up against a Thursday deadline to either certify the USA had opened an embassy in Jerusalem or see the State Department lose half its funding for overseas facilities. Israel declared the city its undivided capital but the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

While Clinton and President George W. Bush similarly pledged at different points to move the embassy, they both repeatedly signed the waiver to prevent the embassy's relocation throughout their presidencies because they said it would undermine the peace process.

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