U.S President Donald Trump will announce Wednesday that he is beginning the process of moving the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of his presidency so far.
The move – mandated by Congress but waived for national security reasons for 22 years – could potentially complicate peace efforts in the Middle East. The Palestinian Authority and rest of the Arab world opposes the move, but the Israeli government would welcome the acknowledgement of Jerusalem as its capital — something no other nation has done.
The plan, outlined to reporters Tuesday night by three senior administration officials on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement, is still in its early stages. It could still take years to find a site for the new embassy, get funding, and build and secure the facility, the officials said. There are about 1,000 U.S. diplomatic personnel at the current U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, with a smaller existing consulate in Jerusalem.