White House: Reports of Israel embassy move are ‘premature’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House labeled as “premature” a report in the Israeli media that President Donald Trump was set to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

“We have nothing to announce,” a White House official told JTA on Wednesday.

Trump has until this weekend to issue a waiver suspending for six months a 1995 law that mandates moving the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Every president has signed the waiver since the law’s passage, every six months, including Trump in June.

Israel’s Channel 2 quoted Israeli government officials as saying they anticipated that Trump would not sign the waiver and the embassy would soon move.

Trump had campaigned on moving the embassy but backpedaled once he assumed office after representations by Jordan’s King Abdullah, who argued that a move would be disruptive and dangerous. Abdullah is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with government officials.

Vice President Mike Pence told a pro-Israel event on Tuesday that Trump was “actively considering when and how” to move the embassy.

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