President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and direct the State Department to begin the process to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, senior administration officials said.
The decision, which is already being cheered by the President’s supporters and the Israeli government, is expected to roil the region, with US Arab allies warning Trump on Tuesday that it will undermine regional stability and stymie the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump will sign a waiver delaying the embassy move for another six months to comply with the law, as senior administration officials said it will take years for the move to be completed.
The Trump administration on Tuesday cast the move, which Trump will announce Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, as a “recognition of reality” that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government. Officials stressed that the decision would have no impact on the boundaries of future Israeli and Palestinian states as negotiated under a final status agreement.
Senior administration officials briefing reporters Tuesday evening rejected suggestions that the decision would hurt the peace process, but offered no arguments to suggest the move would advance the peace process or US interests in the region.