US officials say the process of moving the embassy would take at least six months and involve major adjustments in security, office and housing space and staffing at both the existing facility in Tel Aviv and the consulate general in Jerusalem.
Moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as endorsing Israel's claim to the city and rejecting the Palestinian one. He signed a waiver Thursday to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for the time being.
Another administration official said the decision to sign the waiver was not yet final and that paperwork both to move the embassy to Jerusalem and to keep it in Tel Aviv had been presented to the president.
And Abbas has long said moving the embassy to Jerusalem could shatter chances for peace talks.
The Palestinian Authority's ambassador to the U.S., Husam Zomlot, said that Trump's decision "gives peace a chance" and that the Palestinians "are ready to start the consultation process with the U.S. Administration" on a peace deal. "We are serious and genuine about achieving a just and lasting peace".
Israel re-captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognized by the global community.
In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Thursday that it believes all embassies should be in what it called Israel's "eternal capital". Trump avoided any public mention of a potential embassy move during his visit to Israel and the West Bank in May.
Today, Gilboa says, the average Israeli is more interested in the U.S. finally allowing Israelis to travel to the U.S. visa-free - so they won't have to go through arduous visa questioning at the U.S. Embassy, no matter which Israeli city it's located in. But that claim, which is not recognized internationally, is disputed by Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries who want part of the city to serve as the capital for any future Palestinian state. If it is not signed by then, the USA government will be legally obligated to proceed with moving the embassy.
Moving the embassy is "something the President supports, something he supported during the campaign, something he still supports", the official said. Trump has said he's reviewing whether to fulfill his campaign promise to move it to Jerusalem. The long-standing USA position is that Jerusalem's fate must be worked out through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
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