Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Trump waives law requiring US move its embassy to Jerusalem


However, a White House statement said that Trump had not departed from his original plan to move the Us embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Of the embassy, Spicer said, "The question is not if that move happens, but only when".

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

Israel views Jerusalem as its capital.

Shifting the US Embassy would be widely seen as Washington's recognition of the Israeli position on Jerusalem's status, which successive US administrations have said must be decided in negotiations between the two sides. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, a senior member of government, accused Trump of "a surrender" to pressure from Arab and Muslim nations.

Steinitz tells Israel's Army Radio station: "I think the time has come to put an end to this farce".

The Palestinians praised Mr Trump's decision, saying it strengthens the chances of peace.

"We are ready to start the consultation process with the USA administration", he said after Trump's announcement.

Spicer was asked about the issue during his daily press briefing, and despite the fact that the question included the looming deadline, he said that Trump has not yet made up his mind. Every president since President Bill Clinton has pushed off the move, citing national security concerns.

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Presidents of both parties have consistently renewed the waivers for six-month stretches. The most recent waiver, signed by Obama, expires on June 1.

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.

During his visit to Israel last month, Trump visited the Western Wall, the Jewish holy site that sits just steps from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, revered in Islam.

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 global community.

Israel has controlled the western part of Jerusalem, home to most of Israel's government institutions, since gaining independence in 1948. Everybody recognizes Israel as the capital of Israel.

Trump had been lobbied heavily by Mideast leaders, notably Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan, to sign the waiver and prevent further instability and unrest in the region.

President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time on February 28th, 2017.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Thursday that "we strongly welcome the decision and highly value the message it is sending".

Trump, who vowed during the 2016 presidential campaign to move the embassy, chose instead to continue his predecessors' policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring that the embassy be transferred to Jerusalem. But after he took office in January, the issue lost momentum as he met Arab leaders who warned it would be hard to rejuvenate long-stalled peace efforts unless he acted as a fair mediator.

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