Trump delays moving embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Trump delays moving embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
07 June, 2017, 18:49
In 1995, Congress passed legislation, with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both houses, requiring that the American embassy be moved to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999.
Trump faced a deadline of Thursday to renew the waiver or to possibly see the U.S. Department of State lose half of its funding for overseas facilities if the Embassy was not moved to Jerusalem.
President Trump speaks in the Oval Office at the White House, May 31. White House officials said the president signed the waiver in an effort to encourage peace. But Trump has apparently realized that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, much like the US health care system, is complicated. But the president can waive the law if asserting that a waiver is in US national security interests.
The Western Wall, which is one of the holiest sights in Judaism, is in Jerusalem.
Dr. Robert Jeffress, who sits on the president's evangelical advisory board, says the move will happen eventually.
In urging Trump to reconsider, Zeldin, one of only two Jewish Republicans now serving in the House, went on to say "it was a credit to the president's campaign past year that he knew and was outspoken for moving the US embassy as the correct path forward". The president was referring to the Palestinian leader's claim that youth in the PA-administered areas are raised in a "culture of peace".
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For his part, Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian presidency, welcomed the move, saying: "Trump's decision not to move the embassy is a positive step that would enhance the chances to achieve peace". President Trump can waive it only for six months, meaning he will have to revisit the issue again on Dec 1.
The President also promised Israeli ambassador Dr Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian representative to the United States, said the Trump policy "gives peace a chance".
They are also demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian lands occupied in a 1967 war.
Stepping back from a campaign promise, President Donald Trump on Thursday decided not to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least for the next six months.
The embassy to Israel stays in Tel Aviv which has big, symbolic significance. The long-standing US position is that Jerusalem's fate must be worked out through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Trump, according to sources familiar with his thinking, was influenced in his decision by many Arab leaders he heard from during his recent trip to the Middle East. Building a new complex in Jerusalem would take even longer.
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