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Mum on Jerusalem embassy move, Trump says Netanyahu call was 'very nice'

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Donald Trump

With the USA abstention, the U.N. Security Council was able to approve the measure 14-0.

The Sunday afternoon call was made from the Situation Room, the White House said.

A giant billboard appeared in Jerusalem last week congratulating Trump on his inauguration and his decision to support Israel's claim to the holy city. This evening's announcement has sent a clear message to the world that the USA recognizes Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the State of Israel.

There isn't yet a final date for the visit.

"We've been through eight tough years with Obama pressuring to freeze construction", Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat told the Associated Press.

Trump described his conversation with Netanyahu as "very nice" when asked by reporters following a swearing in ceremony of his top White House advisers, Reuters reported. "For Israel, the first and most important issue is halting the bad nuclear deal with Iran", Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks.

In a statement following that meeting, Netanyahu said Trump would "recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel".

"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject", Spicer said in a statement.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, as the capital of their future state, while Israel says all of Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Israel.

Turjeman said plans for some 11,000 other homes were also in progress in east Jerusalem, though he did not say when they could be moved forward.

With Trump signaling a much softer line toward the settlements, Israeli hard-liners say there is no longer any reason to show restraint.

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In its final weeks, the Obama administration angered the Israeli Government by withholding a traditional USA veto of an anti-settlement resolution at the United Nations Security Council, enabling the measure to pass. Trump had called for the resolution to be vetoed.

Congress approved a law in 1995 describing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but successive presidents have declined to move the embassy. "I hope that era is over and we now we can build and develop Jerusalem for the welfare of its residents, Jews and Arabs alike".

A spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the latest settlement approvals and said they violated the United Nations resolution.

Such a move could badly damage prospects for a two-state solution.

"Trump is showing that he is a true friend of the State of Israel who fulfills his promises", he said.

Annexing Maaleh Adumim would be seen as undermining negotiations.

Media captionWhy aren't the Israelis and Palestinians talking?

Some peace proposals have envisioned it becoming part of Israel in land swaps agreed with the Palestinians, but not unilaterally. After the global community reiterated its support for the two-state solution, it will be important to watch what course President Donald Trump takes vis-a-vis the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

Some 430,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and 200,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the capital of their future state, in settlements long regarded by the worldwide community as illegal.

More than 500,000 Israelis live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in settlements that most world governments view as illegal.

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