US President Barack Obama delayed for six months moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the White House said on Friday, a bureaucratic ritual that exemplifies the controversial aspect of the city's status.
Ever since a law was passed in 1995 ordering the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv – where other foreign embassies are located – to Jerusalem, US presidents have routinely delayed the move.
US policy on Jerusalem has not changed: Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, said a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity.
Israel had declared Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, then annexed east Jerusalem in the 1967 War.
On May 21, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Jerusalem would remain Israel's capital "forever".