US citizens born in Jerusalem will now be able to list Israel as their birthplace on their passports and other consular documents, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday, in a nod to
Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Effectively immediately, Jerusalem-born Americans can elect to state Israel but otherwise their passports would still say only Jerusalem -- an option sure to be preferred by many from the city’s predominantly Palestinian eastern part.
The announcement comes days before the presidential election in which Trump has promoted his steadfast support of Israel, a key cause for his evangelical Christian base.
In his first year in office, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and later moved the US embassy there -- putting the United States at odds with virtually every other country.
“The United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its seat of government but continues to take no position on the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said as he announced the passport changes.
“This matter remains subject to final status negotiations between the two parties.”
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