President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Wednesday his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel — a move that could rock relations in the Middle East.
Trump reportedly informed Arab and Israeli leaders of his intentions on Tuesday, The New York Times reported.
In addition to designating the city as Israel’s capital — something that other Middle Eastern nations have long opposed — Trump also told Arab leaders that the embassy will be moved to Jerusalem.
But NBC News reported that two officials said Trump will sign a waiver on Monday that delays such a move. It is unclear when the embassy will be moved, but Trump reportedly won’t authorize the transition this week.
Trump is said to have told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the move during a phone call on Tuesday, and Abbas responded by telling the U.S. president that the decision could have major repercussions, according to The Associated Press.
The president also called King Abdullah of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Jordan’s official news agency reporting that Trump “indicated his desire to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
As Faithwire previously reported, the location of the U.S. embassy in Israel — which is currently in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem — has long been a point of contention. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, while Palestine also envisions the city being the capital of its own prospective future state.
While a U.S. law passed in 1995 called for the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem, the past three presidents have enacted waivers to delay such a move, citing security concerns, as CNN reported.
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.