White House considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital before end of year

Posted at 3:20 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 17:21:43-05

By Elise Labott, Michelle Kosinski and Nicole Gaouette, CNN

The Trump administration is seriously considering recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in early December, even as President Donald Trump signs a waiver to keep the US Embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months, sources tell CNN.

Two senior administration officials and allies close to the US tell CNN that Trump is in the final stages of a decision to announce the recognition as well as on whether to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem when he signs the waiver on Dec. 4.

Though a final decision still needs to be made and debate continues within the administration, officials from countries closely allied to the US say a plan under consideration would have Trump announce he is signing the waiver for the last time, giving the administration time to plan the transition of its diplomatic mission.

The news comes on the heels of Vice President Mike Pence’s statement in New York on Tuesday that Trump is “actively considering when and how” to make good on his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Pence was speaking at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations vote that led to the creation of Israel.

Trump promised throughout the 2016 campaign that he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, an action the Israeli government has long advocated, but a move that is deeply fraught.

Jerusalem is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as a future capital, and while it is the seat of Israel’s government, no foreign embassies are located there because the international community sees that as an issue to settle as part of a broader peace agreement. Israel captured Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 war.