Netanyahu says US Embassy decision delays peace

President Donald Trump shares a laugh with (clockwise from left) Ms.Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Secretary Tom Price, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Vice President Mike Pence on.

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.

Trump being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th, 2017. Trump heard that message directly from Arab leaders last month when he visited Saudi Arabia at the start of his first overseas trip as president.

President Donald Trump decided Thursday to keep the U.S.' Israel embassy in Tel Aviv, temporarily waving a decades-old law requiring the diplomatic building's relocation to Jerusalem.

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".

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

The Palestinian ambassador to Washington, Husam Zomlot, said the move "gives peace a chance".

One senior administration official said the final decision hasn't been officially made, but that paperwork to both keep the embassy in Tel Aviv and move it to Jerusalem has been presented to the West Wing for Trump's approval. But that claim, which is not recognized internationally, is disputed by Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries who want part of the city to serve as the capital for any future Palestinian state.

President Trump Ends Nine-Day Overseas Trip With a Flourish
Leaders of the G7 wrap up their meeting on Saturday with discussions focused on terrorism, climate and trade. The White House is also assembling a team of lawyers to protect the President from potential legal troubles.

But after Trump entered the White House, he and his aides began to realize the fragile situation that surrounds any possible peace talks in the Middle East.

Two competing groups of senior Trump administration officials have been waging war over this issue for over four months now, since the transition period before Trump took office. If it is not signed by then, the USA government will be legally obligated to proceed with moving the embassy.

"The question is does making this move prejudice" the peace process, the official said.

Signing the waiver this week would forestall any move for another six months.

USA 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.

One official said that "all parties" - meaning both Israeli and Palestinian leaders - have been notified that the embassy would be staying in Tel Aviv.

Moving the embassy is "something the President supports, something he supported during the campaign, something he still supports", the official said.

  • Megan Austin