Donald Trump has still to make up his mind whether to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to media reports yesterday.
The US president has been widely expected to announce the fulfilment of his election pledge over the embassy in coming days.
But remarks made by his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, at a policy conference have been interpreted as a hint that the issue is still to be decided.
Speaking at the Brookings Institute’s Saban Forum in Washington, Mr Kushner said that the president was “still looking at a lot of different facts, and then when he makes his decision, he’ll be the one to want to tell you, not me.”
But Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has warned that “any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, or moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable for the Palestinians, Arabs and internationally.”
Meanwhile, reports emerged over the past few days that Mr Kushner could come under greater scrutiny in the FBI’s investigation of alleged contacts between members of Mr Trump’s campaign team and the Russians before he took office.
Mr Kushner is said to have been active in lobbying against a UN resolution critical of Israel.
But Haim Saban, the media mogul who has sponsored the forum, told Mr Kushner at Sunday’s event, “As far as I know, nothing illegal there, but I think that this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort.”