Donald Trump has reportedly backtracked on his campaign vow to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.
Israeli outlet NRG, citing unnamed sources, reported the White House has officially scrapped plans for the controversial move after months of delay.
According to the website, the Trump administration has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US president would veto the enactment of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act.
The Act recognises an “undivided” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and calls for establishment of the US embassy in the city “no later than May 31, 1999”, International Business Times reports.
However Mr Netanyahu’s office has denied reports that it had received notice of the change from the Trump administration.
“Israel’s position is that all embassies, particularly the US embassy, should be in Israel’s capital — Jerusalem,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also denied the reports.
“The president has not made a decision on that,” she said.
Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence said that the White House was continuing to give “serious consideration” to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Speaking at an Israeli Independence Day commemoration the day before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, Mr Pence said the president was “personally committed to resolving the Israeli and Palestinian conflict” and was “making valuable progress” toward that goal.
Mr Trump pledged during his campaign to move the embassy, to the alarm of Palestinians. But as president he’s backed away from the vow while saying it’s still under discussion.
Like most countries, the US maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv because Israelis and Palestinians have competing claims to Jerusalem.
Israel considers Jerusalem its undivided capital but Palestinians seek east Jerusalem for the capital of a future state.
Mr Trump will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 22-23 in his first visit as president.