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U.S. DELAYS EMBASSY TRANSFER TO JERUSALEM


President Obama is pressuring Israel to completely halt settlements expansions in the occupied Palestinian lands.
President Barack Obama has decided to delay the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (al-Quds) amid a heightening row between the US and Israel.
Sources in the White House revealed on Friday that the US policy towards Israeli-Palestinians issue had not been changed and that the US embassy would remain in Jerusalem for at least six more months.
The US Congress ratified the Jerusalem Embassy Act in October 1995, which states that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel. The act also states that the United States had to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than 31 May 1999.
However, the decision has been delayed every six months due to the Palestinian-Israeli row over the city.
The status of Jerusalem has been among the thorny issues in the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with the Israelis claiming the city as their "eternal, undivided capital", a position not recognized by the international community.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It has since constructed thousands of settlements in the occupied city housing more than 285,000 Israelis.
The international community considers the Jewish settlements as illegal.
US President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Israel to fulfill its commitments under the Roadmap peace plan and evacuate the settlements built in the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
Israel, however, rejects calls for settlement freeze as well as the two-state solution.
President Obama said Saturday that it was vital to break the "stalemate" in the Middle East peace process. "I expect both sides (Israel and the Palestinians) to recognize that their fates are tied together."
Courtesy: Press TV
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