With only a few hours remaining until the deadline requiring the president to decide whether to veto moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, media sources are claiming President Trump will indeed sign the waiver delaying the move for at least another six months.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed in Congress in 1995, authorized moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but allowed for a presidential veto lasting six-months based on security concerns. Since the law was passed, every president has signed the veto preventing the move, the last time being in December by former President Barack Obama in his final days in office. The veto will expire on Wednesday at midnight.
When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the subject on Tuesday, he deferred, saying that a decision had not been made.
In his presidential campaign, Trump promised to move the embassy as a move to reestablish relations with Israel. There has been much intense speculation about when, or if, the promise would be honored. In April, Congressman Ron DeSantis speculated that US President Donald Trump will announce that the US Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem during his visit to Israel which came the day before Jerusalem Day. Though Trump did set a precedent as the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall, he left Israel without announcing the embassy move.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that a senior administration official said that the decision has not been officially made, and paperwork for the waiver delaying the move and alternative paperwork for allowing the move to go through have both been prepared for the president to sign. The official told CNN that it is more likely the president will sign the waiver thereby delaying the move, but assured that the move may materialize sometime in the future.
The Palestinian Authority strongly objects to the move, and has long held the demand for Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital as a precondition for negotiations. They claim that the Israeli claim to Jerusalem is an obstacle to peace.