Trump 'To Recognise Jerusalem as Israeli Capital'

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi at her office in Ramallah

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi at her office in Ramallah

While the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act requires that the US officially move the embassy to the holy city, every president since the act was passed has delayed the actual move.

The officials weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and demanded anonymity.

In the past few days, Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump is "actively considering" how to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and senior Israeli officials were quoted as saying that they expect the move to be announced imminently.

An illustrative
An illustrative

Such a move by Mr Trump, which could be carried out through a presidential statement or speech, would anger the Palestinians, as well as the broader Arab World, and likely undermine the Trump administration's fledgeling effort to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. A formal announcement could come as early as next week, the officials said. "The president is still considering options and we have nothing to announce".

Moving the USA embassy in Israel, if it's given a green light, will not be a quick process, sources said.

Meanwhile, ABC News suggested the "highly charged declaration that risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East" is a way to offset a likely decision delaying his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv.

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US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman said earlier this month that it his belief that President Trump would in fact move the embassy, calling tit a matter of "when, not if".

"Last June the president said that it was a question of when the embassy would move, not if", a USA embassy official told ABC News.

Jerusalem annexed the Arab-majority eastern parts of the city after the Six Day War in 1967, a move never recognized by the bulk of the worldwide community.

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The Trump White House has developed a plan to declare Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided" capital and has began notifying its missions overseas to lay the ground for its announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

However, if Mr Trump decides to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital, even without ordering an embassy move, it would be certain to spark an worldwide uproar.

Action on the Israel embassy issue is meant to show progress on a key Trump campaign promise and aim to energize the Trump base.

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