Thursday morning the White House announced President Trump has delayed his promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, arguing now is not the time.
"While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President's strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance," the White House released in a statement. "President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when."
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has issued a response, saying a failure to move the embassy only pushes peace further away.
"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. Maintaining embassies outside the capital drives peace further away by helping keep alive the Palestinian fantasy that the Jewish people and the Jewish state have no connection to Jerusalem," Netanyahu released in a statement. "Though Israel is disappointed that embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today's expression of President Trump's friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future."
Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara hosted President Trump and First Lady Melania at their home last week in Jerusalem. The President also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.