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Trump Expected to Sign Order Delaying US Embassy Move to Jerusalem | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The front of the US embassy is seen in Tel Aviv, Israel January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

President Donald Trump is expected this week to back down from his campaign pledge to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, US officials and a diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

With a deadline for a decision looming, Trump is likely to continue his predecessors’ policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring that the embassy be transferred to Jerusalem, an action that would have complicated his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the sources said.

Trump has yet to make his decision official but is required by law to act by Friday, according to one US official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Barring a last-minute surprise, Trump is expected to renew the waiver. His administration intends to make clear, however, that Trump remains committed to the promise he made during the 2016 presidential campaign, though it will not set a specific timetable for doing so, officials said.

On Thursday, a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli soldier outside a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank before being shot and critically wounded, the army and medics said.

The attack came just days before the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War in which Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem. 

The soldier was taken to hospital with a stab wound to his upper body, medics from Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service said. 

The assailant was in critical condition, the medics added.

The attack took place at the entrance to Mevo Dotan, a Jewish settlement southwest of Jenin. 

The army said the assailant used a knife and was shot by military “forces at the scene”.