Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

Netanyahu says US Embassy decision delays peace

Netanyahu says US Embassy decision delays peace

After much anticipation, President Trump has made a decision to postpone his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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.

To circumvent the 1995 law requiring the embassy to relocate to Jerusalem, each USA president since Bill Clinton has signed a waiver every six months to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the president's decision doesn't mean he is backing off of his promise.

The same official said that while Trump may not authorize the move this week, the President still envisions moving the embassy at some point.

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The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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.

The waiver has been signed by every US president since 1995, and it is valid for six months at a time.

The Palestinian Authority's ambassador to the U.S., Husam Zomlot, said that Trump's decision "gives peace a chance" and that the Palestinians "are ready to start the consultation process with the U.S. Administration" on a peace deal. Despite that, most experts are skeptical of Trump's chances for achieving a peace deal that eluded other USA presidents.

It added that despite the disappointment, Israel appreciates Mr Trump's friendship and his commitment to moving the embassy to Jerusalem in the future.

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One Mideast analyst says President Donald Trump's decision not to immediately move the us embassy in Israel to Jerusalem represents a "very traditional approach to Arab-Israeli peacemaking".

Today, Gilboa says, the average Israeli is more interested in the U.S. finally allowing Israelis to travel to the U.S. visa-free - so they won't have to go through arduous visa questioning at the U.S. Embassy, no matter which Israeli city it's located in.

When told that Trump said he will move the embassy later, Steinitz says: "I hope that happens before the Messiah comes". "For him, it is a matter of when not if the U.S. embassy is moved to Jerusalem".

President Donald Trump has temporarily waived a law requiring the move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. During the campaign, it was Friedman who, in interviews with both the American and the Israeli media, repeatedly stressed Trump's promise to move the embassy. President Barack Obama signed it during the last weeks of his term, and on Thursday it will be half a year since he did so.

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