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WH says Israel peace hopes sparked embassy delay


The White House said that the move reflects no change in Trump's policy on Israel.

Since then, speculation has significantly dampened on the issue, with most inside Israel and the USA believing it isn't going to happen.

Israeli media has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet has met for special consultations with police, security services and the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in preparedness for "scenarios of worsening violence" if the United States does move its embassy to the city. And Israel's intelligence minister is accusing Trump of a "surrender" to pressure from Arab and Muslim nations. They say it improves the atmosphere for future negotiations by demonstrating Trump's seriousness. He said via Twitter that deliberations about the move must include that East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and where the Palestinians hope to have their capital should a two-state solution prevail, have a different status than the rest of the city.

President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh (nah-BEEL' ah-boo reh-DAY'-nuh), says the decision is an "important positive step" that illustrates the USA seriousness about promoting peace.

The Palestinian ambassador to Washington, Husam Zomlot, said the move "gives peace a chance".

"If it was already a decision, we wouldn't be going through a decision-making process", he said.

During his visit to Israel last month, Trump visited the Western Wall, the Jewish holy site that sits just steps from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, revered in Islam.

It claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

Social Media Rushes to Define Trump's 'Covfefe' Tweet
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager says he'd be willing to join the White House staff if "the right role is there". As of Wednesday morning, covfefe was a top trending term on Twitter from Perth to Delhi, and from Mexico City to Paris.

And J Street, a "pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans" lobbying group, hailed Trump for having heeded "the advice of veteran officials in the diplomatic and security communities" in holding off on the embassy move. This was pleasing to the contingent of hard-line Israelis (and Americans who hold hard-line beliefs about Israel) who believe that Jerusalem is Israel's one true capital.

Palestinian leaders, Arab governments and Western allies had urged Trump not to proceed with the embassy relocation, which would have upended decades of US policy by granting what would have been seen as de facto USA recognition of Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital.

That language is standard for waivers signed by Trump's precedessors under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

President Donald Trump signed a temporary order on Thursday to keep the USA embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv instead of relocating it to Jerusalem, despite his campaign pledge to go ahead with the controversial move.

The pro-Western kingdom had warned that such a move was a "red line" that it would bolster extremists if crossed. Global consensus is that East Jerusalem is occupied territory, just like the West Bank.

More than half of Jordan's citizens are of Palestinian descent.

Trump had faced a Thursday deadline to determine how to proceed.

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.

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