The Latest: Israeli official disappointed with embassy delay

June 01, 2017 - 10:51 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to temporarily delay moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

A senior Israeli official is expressing disappointment over Trump's decision against relocating the embassy to Jerusalem and is accusing the U.S. of caving in to Arab pressure.

Cabinet Minister Yuval Steinitz says the refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital makes no sense. Steinitz is a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Steinitz tells Israel's Army Radio station: "I think the time has come to put an end to this farce. Everybody recognizes Israel as the capital of Israel. When Trump comes here, he goes to Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv."

When told that Trump said he will move the embassy later, Steinitz says: "I hope that happens before the Messiah comes."

He said leaving foreign embassies in Tel Aviv is "a surrender to unfair Arab and Muslim pressure."


10:20 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump decided to delay moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to maximize chances of reaching a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

But press secretary Sean Spicer says Trump still intends to move the embassy from Tel Aviv. Spicer says, "The question is not if that move happens, but only when."

Spicer says the six-month waiver Trump signed Thursday shouldn't be considered a retreat from Trump's "strong support for Israel" and for the alliance between the U.S. and Israel. He says pursuing a Mideast peace deal fulfills the president's "solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests."

Trump was facing a Thursday deadline to either waive or comply with a law requiring him to move the embassy.


10:02 a.m.

President Donald Trump has temporarily waived a law requiring the U.S. to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump's move to renew the waiver for six months keeps the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv for now. Trump has said he's reviewing whether to fulfill his campaign promise to move it to Jerusalem.

Trump was facing a Thursday deadline to renew the waiver or see the State Department lose half its funding for its overseas facilities. Presidents of both parties have renewed the waiver every six months for years.

Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, but the Palestinians claim east Jerusalem for the capital of a future state.

The U.S. says its policy on Jerusalem hasn't changed and that Jerusalem's status must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.

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