WH says Israel peace hopes sparked embassy delay

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While Jordan has since given up the claim to those territories, their global status remains in limbo, with Palestinians asserting the right to statehood and claiming East Jerusalem as their rightful capital.

One official said that "all parties" - meaning both Israeli and Palestinian leaders - have been notified that the embassy would be staying in Tel Aviv. The order he will sign waives for six months a congressional edict requiring the embassy be located in Jerusalem, after which he will have to consider the matter again.

When told that Trump said he will move the embassy later, Steinitz says: "I hope that happens before the Messiah comes".

But after Trump entered the White House, he and his aides began to realize the fragile situation that surrounds any possible peace talks in the Middle East.

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The White House says President Donald Trump chose to delay moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem to maximize chances of reaching a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr. Trump made no mention of his pending decision during a visit to Jerusalem just last week and waited to announce it until nearly the last minute he could under law, underscoring the deep political sensitivity of the matter.

A United States official, speaking on condition of anonymity stressed to AFP that "it's a question of when, not if", and added that "he doesn't think the timing is right, right now". Every US president has signed such a waiver twice a year after a law was passed in 1995 mandating the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem. "For him, it is a matter of when not if the U.S. embassy is moved to Jerusalem".

In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Thursday that it believes all embassies should be in what it called Israel's "eternal capital".

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Jerusalem -Israel's finance minister has met the Palestinian premier to discuss measures aimed at improving the Palestinian economy, in an "extremely rare" meeting in Ramallah, officials said on Thursday.

Trump spent two days in Israel and the Palestinian territories on his first foreign trip, in an aim to resolve the conflict between the sides, urging them to compromise for peace but giving no specifics.

"The campaign promise is that the United States is going to take this action and that it is a question of when and not if", the official said.

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