Trump delays moving US Embassy to Jerusalem for now

Posted June 04, 2017

Trump recently visited Israel and the West Bank to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his first foreign trip overseas and after expressed hopefulness for a peace deal between the two groups - a pursuit that has beleaguered past administrations.

In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem by 1999 or else the State Department's building budget would be cut in half.

Trump's signing of the waiver was first reported Thursday morning by the New York Times, though there had been much speculation in political circles and in the media that he would do so.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement today that they are "disappointed" by the waiver yet "appreciate today's expression of President Trump's friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future".

"We are ready to to start the consultation process with the United States administration", Zomlot said. "I am personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement".

And yet Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike remained largely silent on the matter, focusing their public attention on the other news of the day: Trump's decision to pull the USA out of the Paris climate accord.

US officials say the process of moving the embassy would take at least six months and involve major adjustments in security, office and housing space and staffing at both the existing facility in Tel Aviv and the consulate general in Jerusalem.

His office said it believes all embassies should be based in what it called Israel's "eternal capital".

Palestinian leaders cheered the move and said it improved the atmosphere for future negotiations by demonstrating Trump's seriousness about the process. The announcement postpones the president's campaign promise to move diplomatic operations to Jerusalem.

Palestinian leaders are cheering the move.

The United States, like most countries throughout the world, does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Every president since President Bill Clinton has pushed off the move, citing national security concerns.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, June 14, 2016.

President Donald Trump signed a temporary order on Thursday to keep the USA embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv instead of relocating it to Jerusalem, despite his campaign pledge to go ahead with the controversial move.

"The delay in the transfer of the embassy actually makes it hard for real peace because it fosters a false expectation among the Palestinians to divide Jerusalem, which will never happen".

"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 a speech in Jerusalem.

"Fifty years ago, the liberation of Jerusalem during the Six Day War reunited the Jewish people with their historic capital city", DeSantis, the chair of the House National Security Subcommittee, said.