U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on whether to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will not come by a Monday deadline, the White House said, according to AFP.
"The president has been clear on this issue from the get-go: It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley hours before the administration's decision was due.
Trump had been due to decide on Monday whether to sign a legal waiver delaying by six months plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem – as successive administrations have done at regular intervals for more than two decades.
"No action though will be taken on the waiver today and we will declare a decision on the waiver in the coming days," Gidley said.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump vowed to implement the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which calls for the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, in June of 2017, Trump signed a six-month waiver allowing the embassy to remain in Tel Aviv which was due to expire on Monday.
Sources in Washington and Jerusalem have claimed in recent weeks that the Trump administration is preparing for a major change in American policy vis-à-vis the Israeli capital city, with either an announcement on the relocation of the embassy planned this week, or formal recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.
While reports said that Trump could recognize Jerusalem as soon as Wednesday, his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner said on Sunday that the president has yet to reach a final decision.