Trump waives law requiring US to move its embassy to Jerusalem

Trump's closest advisors are reported to be divided about the wisdom of quickly making good on the pledge, a move that would delight many Israelis but dismay Palestinians and raise concerns among Israel's Arab neighbors.

Palestinian leaders cheered the move and said it improved the atmosphere for future negotiations by demonstrating Trump's seriousness about the process.

US President Donald Trump laughs with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House, February 15, 2017.

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 us seriousness about promoting peace.

It is not clear if Trump's alleged scorning of Abbas impacted the Palestinian government's commitment to resuming peace talks with Israel. Trump had said as a candidate that the Paris climate accord, signed by almost 200 countries in 2015, would cause job losses in the U.S. "We are serious and genuine about achieving a just and lasting peace", added Zomlot.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

"Israel's consistent position is that the American embassy, like the embassies of all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations, should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital", Netanyahu said.

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"Israel's stewardship of Jerusalem has been tremendous and has included guaranteeing religious freedom for Christians and Muslims as well as Jews - something that was nonexistent during the city's Arab occupation", he said in a statement Thursday.

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. "I am disappointed, but I take the President at his word that this is only a delay in delivering on his promise".

Under the passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, the president must sign a waiver every six months to delay the move of the embassy to Jerusalem.

The pro-Western kingdom had warned that such a move was a "red line" that it would bolster extremists if crossed.

Akevot, an Israeli NGO researching the conflict, has spent thousands of hours over two years gaining access to declassified, often dog-eared, documents and building a digital record of them.

A senior administration official told CNN Thursday that the embassy will move when conditions are right. "Think about how upsetting to us it is that the USA doesn't recognize Jerusalem as our capital".

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