Trump officially recognizes Jerusalem as capital, to move U.S. embassy
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Dec. 6 that the U.S. will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to begin moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Critics of the move say it will hamper peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world.”
The move by the President fulfills a campaign promise he made to religious conservatives.
It is thought that the move of the embassy to Jerusalem would not be immediate and could take three or four years.
The U.S. officials said there are currently about 1,000 personnel in the embassy in Tel Aviv. They added that there is no facility in Jerusalem ready to serve as the embassy site, and it will take time to address security, design and cost concerns.
Ahead of the announcement, Trump said he spoke to Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The controversy surrounding the move of the embassy dates back decades. A law passed in 1995 under the Clinton administration considers Jerusalem the capital, and even mandates the move of the embassy there, Fox News reported. However, the law allows for a loophole used by former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – an option to issue waivers every six months to delay the move from Tel Aviv.