(JNS.org) President Donald Trump on Tuesday said in a phone conversation with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas that it is the American leader’s “intention” to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.
The White House had said in a statement that Trump was scheduled to speak with Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah on Tuesday, and that a readout on the calls would be available later in the day.
Questions about the status of the U.S. embassy came as Trump missed a Dec. 4 deadline to announce a decision regarding the potential relocation. At the same time, the president was expected to make an announcement Dec. 6 on U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump will make an announcement on the embassy “in the coming days,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told media representatives aboard Air Force One as the president returned from a trip to Utah.
Both the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas and the PA made threats ahead of the potential changes in U.S. policy towards Jerusalem. Hamas last Saturday called to “renew the Jerusalem intifada,” while Abbas’s adviser, Mahmoud Habash, said that “the world will pay a price” for American recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Abbas’s diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, reiterated that sentiment Tuesday, telling The Associated Press, “If the Americans recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel….We will stop our contacts with them.”