Trump dithers on moving Israel embassy to Jerusalem, a controversial campaign promise

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01 June, 2017

"Peace and security can only be achieved through Israel's withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem", he said, accusing Netanyahu of "aggravating the conflict". "And my meeting with my very good friend Benjamin".

President Donald Trump has a decision to make by Thursday, which could reveal his thoughts on a campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel.

Trump promised throughout the 2016 campaign that he would move the USA embassy from to Jerusalem, an action the Israeli government has long advocated.

Such a move would likely infuriate Palestinian leaders.

Just prior to Trump's May 22-23 visit, the White House called Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall a "policy matter" after after a United States official assisting in preparations for the tour of the site ignited a firestorm by angrily snapping that the holiest site in Judaism is "not [Israeli] territory".

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While Trump has articulated support for peace between the two sides, he has yet to explicitly endorse the creation of a fledgling Palestinian state, or join the worldwide consensus supporting a two-state solution.

According to a senior administration official, Trump still supports moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but believes now may not be the right time to do so becuase it might harm the chances of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's games and maneuvers will not deter the Palestinians from pursuing their final peace goals, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said in a statement following its Tuesday night meeting in Ramallah.

In March, in a reversal, Trump asked Israel to "hold off" on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, and then, during subsequent visits to the White House by Netanyahu and Abbas, spoke of peace.

A law passed in 1995 mandated that the embassy be moved to Jerusalem, but every president since has signed a waiver preventing this.


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