President Trump to Sign Waiver Keeping US Embassy in Tel Aviv

In fact, when the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1995 requiring the move its embassy to Jerusalem, the Israeli leader at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, was said to be hesitant.

Earlier in the day, Trump renewed a waiver that will temporarily keep the USA embassy in Tel Aviv instead of moving it to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital city.

The American leader faced a Thursday deadline to renew the waiver or see the State Department lose half its funding for its overseas facilities. He signed a waiver delaying such a move for at least six months, something his predecessors from both political parties have done routinely for decades.

Here is an earlier report by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights describing years of USA policy against recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and explaining that moving the embassy would legitimize ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem. Palestinian officials expressed support for the order and called it "a chance for peace".

Besides the Palestinian issue, Bennett says Trump's visit buttressed Israel's regional security because the USA showed it's standing with Sunni Arab countries and Israel against Iran. It means that the promise Mr. Trump made on the campaign trail past year will not yet be fulfilled.

Trump signed a waiver on Thursday morning that will keep the United States embassy in Israel's second-largest city for at least the next six months.

"The question is not if that move happens, but only when", said White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The decision comes a week after the President visited Israel on his first foreign trip. Both sides stake claims.

Zomlot says: "We are ready to start the consultation process with the USA administration".

Trump has yet to make his decision official but is required by law to act by Friday, according to one US official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The decision is a blow to Israeli hard-liners and their American backers who have long urged the United States and others to build their embassies in Jerusalem. Israel has controlled the entirety of Jerusalem since the 1967 Six-Day War and claims it as their capital, though that isn't recognized on the worldwide stage.

The most recent waiver, signed by Obama, expired on June 1.

A statement issued by the White House on Thursday, however, said that the president still intends to relocate the US' diplomatic seat in the country, and that the move was a question of "when not if".

  • Wendy Palmer