Trump expected to delay United States embassy move to Jerusalem

Far right Israeli supporters wave Israeli flags as they pass through Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City

If President Donald Trump doesn't affirmatively sign a waiver Thursday not to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it will be moved under a law passed in 1995.

"Millions of Evangelical Christian Zionists are praying that God gives President Trump the courage to begin the process of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem - the eternal, undivided Biblical capital of the re-born State of Israel", said Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. The Israeli member of Knesset who took a selfie with Benjamin Netanyahu says he dreams of doing it again, in the Jerusalem embassy.

U.S. President Trump, second from left, walks with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, right, upon Trump's arrival aboard Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 22, 2017.

Today, no country has an embassy in Jerusalem.

Spicer says the six-month waiver Trump signed Thursday shouldn't be considered a retreat from Trump's "strong support for Israel" and for the alliance between the USA and Israel. "There is no peace deal based on the division of Jerusalem", Minister Naftali Bennett (Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi) said in response to President Trump's decision.

During last year's election campaign, Trump had vowed to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel.

However, on Wednesday, a senior administration official said President Trump does not want to disrupt any potential for peace between Israel and Palestine, which he believes is close at hand. "The question is not if that move happens, but only when".

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.

"Given the choice between moving the embassy to Jerusalem or getting a waiver on visas", Gilboa said, "the second is preferable to most Israelis". The Prime Minister's office responded saying that "the existence of embassies outside the capital distances peace since it contributes to the revival of the Palestinian illusion that the Jewish people and state have no connection to Jerusalem".

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.

Former president Barack Obama had signed a waiver preventing the embassy from moving in December that was due to expire on Thursday.

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