A report that President Donald Trump would announce preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within days was “premature”, the White House said on Wednesday.
“This is a premature report. We have nothing to announce,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, AFP reported.
Israel’s Channel 2 said on Wednesday that Trump would soon announce the move, possibly as soon as Sunday. According to the report, he was also planning to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which the US has never done for fear of agitating the Palestinians, who want the city as their own capital.
The abrupt shift in policy – Trump had promised to move the embassy during his presidential campaign, but last month said that the White House would present a peace plan before addressing the issue – was said to be due to pressure from Evangelical Christians, Channel 2‘s Dana Weiss said in a tweet.
While Trump renewed a waiver in June that put off the embassy move for six months, he is under strong pressure from Evangelicals, who voted for Trump largely because of his pro-Israel stance, to allow the waiver, soon due for renewal, to elapse.