WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a gesture that the majority of the international community rejects, according to local media.
This recognition would serve to compensate for the delay of one of Donald Trump’s main promises during the election campaign, the transfer of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On June 1, Trump extended the moving of the embassy by six months in compliance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, a decision that is expected to be repeated Friday once that time limit has expired.
That law stipulates the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, but also includes an amendment by which the president can extend the transfer for six months based on US “national interests,” something that former presidents such as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama periodically resorted to.
In Trump’s view, the decision to recognize Jerusalem, a city subject to territorial disputes between Israel and the Palestinians, as the capital of the Jewish state would politically compensate for the extensions of moving the embassy.
Trump could announce the decision next week, US officials told CBS on condition of anonymity.
The sources, who explained that the idea emerged on Monday during a meeting of National Security advisers, said that the White House also considers that it could be vice president Mike Pence who will announce the decision directly on Israeli soil, where he will travel this December.
Pence said earlier this week that Trump is studying “when and how” to move the embassy.
Although Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, the sovereignty of the country over the eastern part of the city (East Jerusalem) is not recognized by a large part of the international community, which maintains its diplomatic headquarters in Tel Aviv and its suburbs.