GOP rep: Trump ‘deeply disappointing’ on Israel Embassy

GOP rep: Trump ‘deeply disappointing’ on Israel Embassy
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Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Congressional investigators make first evidence requests in Russia nuclear bribery case Sessions grilled by lawmakers from both parties MORE (R-Fla.) said Thursday he found it “deeply disappointing” that President Trump has decided to keep the U.S. Embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv rather than move it to Jerusalem, as he previously promised.

“Israel’s stewardship of Jerusalem has been tremendous and has included guaranteeing religious freedom for Christians and Muslims as well as Jews – something that was nonexistent during the city’s Arab occupation,” he said in a statement Thursday. "Yet, Israel is the only nation in the world where an American embassy is not located in its chosen capital city." 

“It is long past time that we rectify this error and locate our embassy in Jerusalem and it is deeply disappointing that the President has decided not to do so,” DeSantis added.

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The White House on Thursday said Trump had renewed a waiver the day before temporarily keeping the U.S. Embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv rather that relocating it to Jerusalem.

“No one should consider this step in any way a retreat from the president’s strong support for Israel,” the White House said in a statement.

“President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests,” the White House added. “But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if the move happens, but only when.”

The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act requires the U.S. Embassy to move to Jerusalem, but every president since then has signed a six-month waiver delaying the decision.

Trump’s decision breaks a promise from his 2016 presidential campaign and could anger some of his supporters in America and Israel.

Israel sees Jerusalem as its undivided capital, but the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future, independent state.

The U.S. does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and presidents of both parties have said its final status should be decided in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.