Trump softens his stance on controversial US embassy move to Jerusalem

Trump softens his stance on controversial US embassy move to Jerusalem
Trump says he wants to give peace a chance, before he decides whether the US embassy in Israel should make a highly contentious move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
2 min read
08 October, 2017
Trump says the decision will soon be made on moving the US embassy [Getty]

US President Donald Trump could be about to walk back from a highly controversial campaign promise to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Speaking to Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and a hard-line Evangelical Israel advocate, during a 27-minute interview, he explained that Trump is considering a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians before he considers moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Speaking about the peace deal, Trump said he wants to "give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem". 

"Right now we are actually working on a plan that everybody says will never work, because for many, many years it never worked - they say it's the toughest deal of all, peace between Israel and the Palestinians," Trump said.

He then went on to debate whether the possibility of a peace deal between the two sides is near. 

"So we're going to work that [peace deal]... I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem," he added. 

Trump claimed that answers are soon to come because he is planning to "make a decision in the not-so distant future" on the future on where the US embassy in Israel will be based.

Despite Trump seeing a possibility of a peace deal, Ramallah and Tel Aviv both say the prospect of a two-state-solution being achieved are getting dimmer.

The current Israeli government boasts it has done more for the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories than any other government.

"No other government has done as much for settlements in the land of Israel as the government which I lead," said Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"Our generation has succeeded in achieving what past generations only dreamed about... We have returned to our home land, and have turned it once again into a land of milk and honey."

Former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan says that Palestinian political reconciliation must be prioritised over negotiations with Israel, saying the two-state solution is now "impossible". -

In September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - whose presidency expired in 2009 - declared he would "look for alternatives" if the two-state solution was in jeopardy.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Abbas slammed Israel over the construction of new settlements "everywhere", adding they were putting the two-state solution in jeopardy.