Trump waives law requiring US move its embassy to Jerusalem

Saliba Sarsar: A plea for peace 50 years after Six-Day War

However, a White House statement said that Trump had not departed from his original plan to move the Us embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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.

The Jewish state has long urged the USA and others to build embassies in Jerusalem, to reflect Israel's claim to the holy city as its capital.

The Palestinians are praising President Donald Trump's decision not to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, saying it strengthens the chances of peace.

"As he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when", the statement from the White House read.

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

One senior administration official told CNN: "As you have seen the President say, in the region and here in Washington, he thinks this is a hopeful moment for peace and he has committed his administration to try to facilitate progress towards peace and for that reason, he signed the waiver".

A senior White House official told CNN Wednesday that Trump was still in favor of the move but wanted to push for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and feared it would anger the Palestinians. Hussam Zomlot, the Palestinian envoy in Washington, said the move "gives peace a chance".

"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.

Still, a US official said Trump remained committed to his campaign pledge and would eventually fulfill it, though no timetable had been set.

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But Netanyahu's office said Israel appreciated Trump's statement of "friendship".

A senior Israeli official is expressing disappointment over Trump's decision against relocating the embassy to Jerusalem and is accusing the US of caving in to Arab pressure. The Prime Minister's Office awaited the speech with a mix of anticipation and trepidation, but discovered that the opponents won out, and the embassy move was dropped from the speech.

There was high speculation earlier this month, after Trump announced his trip to Israel, that he would use the visit - which came just before Jerusalem Day, when Israel commemorated 50 years since the Six Day War - to announce the move, something he had repeatedly pledged to do as a candidate.

A relocation of the U.S. embassy is "something the president supports, something he supported during the campaign, something he still supports", the official told CNN. He was in the process of negotiating peace with the Palestinians, who also had political claims to Jerusalem.

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