(JNS.org) The White House downplayed reports that President Donald Trump will announce in the coming days that he will order the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would fulfill a key campaign promise.
“This is a premature report. We have nothing to announce,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, AFP reported.
Israel’s Channel 2, meanwhile, reported on Wednesday that Israeli government officials believe it is extremely likely that Trump would announce the embassy move in the coming days.
Trump on June 1 signed a waiver to keep the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. The president now faces a Dec. 1 deadline to decide whether or not to sign a waiver for an additional six months.
Since Congress passed legislation in 1995 authorizing the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, every sitting president has signed successive six-month waivers delaying the move, citing national security concerns.
In a speech on Tuesday marking the 70th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 181, which endorsed the establishment of a Jewish state in what was then British Mandatory Palestine, Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump is “actively considering” moving the embassy.