Trump signs waiver keeping US embassy in Tel Aviv

President Trump has signed the waiver delaying the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a White House official.

A week before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump sat down with the Times of London, which asked, "Is it true you're going to move the American embassy [in Israel] from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?"

"We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem", he said in a March 2016 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

"President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests", the statement said.

A formal announcement is expected later Thursday.

On the campaign trail, Trump's pro-Israel rhetoric raised expectations that he would act quickly to move the embassy.

Within days of capturing East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, Israel was examining options about their future ranging from Jewish settlement-building to the creation of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian ambassador to Washington, Hussam Zomlot, says the move "gives peace a chance".

Mr. Trump faced a June 1 deadline to sign the waiver, or else be legally obligated to move the embassy under a 1995 law.

But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when, it added. Arab allies have warned the young administration that the embassy relocation would kill any prospects for a US-led peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

Congress passed a law in 1995 making it USA policy to move the embassy to Jerusalem, symbolically endorsing Israel's claim on the city as its capital. Shatter Pal myth that Israel has no Jerusalem claims & treat Jerusalem as the capital it is.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem - including the Old City and its sites holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians - to become the capital of an eventual state.

It may be a little hard to defend this change for Trump, who openly criticized past presidents of both parties for waivers and campaigned on being a non-politician who keeps his promises.

Presidents of both parties have consistently renewed the waivers for six-month stretches.

Abdullah in particular expressed deep concern that moving the U.S. Embassy would spark unrest among his country's large Palestinian population.

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