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World

Trump To Decide On U.S. Embassy Location In Israel

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump is considering changing U.S. policy on one of the world's most sensitive geopolitical issues. Next week, Trump may declare Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel recognized by the United States. The State Department has told U.S. embassies in the Mideast to review security protocols because they fear protest. From Jerusalem, NPR's Daniel Estrin reports.

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Jerusalem is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Fifty years ago, Israel captured East Jerusalem, where Palestinians in the city live and where the city's most important religious sites are. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital. But the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future, independent Palestinian state. No country has its embassy in Jerusalem to avoid taking sides. For decades, the U.S. has said the matter should be resolved in peace talks.

President Trump has promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But like previous presidents, he signed a waiver this summer to delay the move. He didn't want to harm efforts to restart peace talks. Now U.S. officials say Trump is weighing some options. He might delay the embassy move again, but he could officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinian officials say the U.S. hasn't consulted them about this. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority president says it would be dangerous to the peace process. Jordan's King Abdullah has warned against stoking anger in the Arab and Muslim world. Trump faces a Monday deadline to decide about the embassy. Daniel Estrin, NPR News, Jerusalem.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRISTEZA'S "MISSOULA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.