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U.S. Policy on Jerusalem: Presidential Waiver on Jerusalem Embassy Act

In October 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, noting that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the U.S. Embassy should be moved there from Tel Aviv no later than May 31, 1999.

The Act also included a stipulation allowing the President to issue a waiver every six months to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv if he determines such is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.

Since 1999, each President - Clinton, Bush and Obama - has used the waiver to suspend the relocation of the Embassy at six month intervals, a copy of which is presented below. President Obama renewed the waiver most recently, on June 1, 2016. President Trump also issued a waiver June 1, 2017, the first date he was required to do so.

On May 8, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced no further waivers were necessary following the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the movement of the embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018.

Presidential Memorandum - Suspension of Limitations Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act

SUBJECT: Suspension of Limitations under the Jerusalem Embassy Act

Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45)(the "Act"), I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.

You are authorized and directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, accompanied by a report in accordance with section 7(a) of the Act, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.

This suspension shall take effect after the transmission of this determination and report to the Congress.