US President Donald Trump has signed a waiver to delay relocating the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, the White House says. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday Israel was "disappointed" over President Donald Trump's decision not to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem for now.
President Trump's decision to sign a waiver postponing the relocation of the Us embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has put many Trump supporters in the pro-Israel community in an awkward position. He says pursuing a Mideast peace deal fulfills the president's "solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests".
On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Ambassador Dr. Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian representative to the United States, said the Trump policy "gives peace a chance".
Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital in 1949, shortly after its independence.
Former President Barack Obama renewed the waiver in December, setting off a six-month clock for Trump.
Trump visited Israel and the Palestinian territories last week, but did not mention a two-state solution in his speeches. The embassy was supposed to be moved in 1999, but every Republican and Democratic president since has used their powers to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.
While Israelis see Jerusalem as central to Judaism and the "eternal" capital of the Jewish people, Palestinians also want the predominantly Arab eastern part of the city to be the capital of any future Palestinian state.
"As someone who believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am deeply disappointed in President Trump's decision", the statement read.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, told Arab News on Thursday that the decision was "an important positive step and would boost chances to achieve peace". His administration intends to make clear, however, that Trump remains committed to the promise he made during the 2016 presidential campaign, though it will not set a specific timetable for doing so, officials said.
Talks over resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been a staple of US foreign policy for decades, and older voters were also more slightly likely to take a bearish view on a potential peace agreement. The United Nations' original partition plan from 1947 on Palestine called for Jerusalem to be an global city.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his regret at the decision of Trump to sign the waiver. "When Trump comes here, he goes to Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv".
East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider the capital of their hoped-for independent state, was occupied by Israel in the 1967 war and annexed in the 1980s. "It was a credit to the President's campaign past year that he knew and was outspoken for moving the USA embassy as the correct path forward".