The world is waiting and watching to see if a speech by US President Donald Trump will include a decision on Jerusalem, amid fears he could further fan the flames on one of the core issues in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
But his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said yesterday Trump is still weighing his options ahead of an announcement on the matter that is expected on Wednesday.
It's believed Trump is not yet decided on whether to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital or to proceed immediate in moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.
Kushner's comments were his first public remarks on his efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians
"The president is going to make his decision," Kushner said. "He is still looking at a lot of different facts."
Why it's dangerous
US officials said last week that Trump is poised to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a move that would up-end decades of US policy.
It's something no president has done in the almost 70 years since Israel was founded.
Equally, moving the embassy could spark widespread protest across the Middle East and undermine an Arab-Israeli peace push led by Kushner.
Shifting the building could be seen as a de facto recognition of Israel's claim over the whole city, including predominantly Palestinian east Jerusalem.
Doing either is likely to complicate the very peace process Trump wants to promote.
The international community says Jerusalem's status must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, and warns a highly-charged declaration would risk inflaming tensions across the Middle East.
US embassies and consulates around the region have been warned to expect protests.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned "any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, or moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable for the Palestinians, Arabs and internationally," according to the official Wafa news agency.
The problem, CNN reports, is that Israel has declared the entire city to be its eternal and undivided capital, including the eastern part of the city, where many Palestinians reside, and where the Palestinian Authority hopes to establish a capital once a Palestinian state is created
Loaded with political and historical significance, Jerusalem — with its sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims — is a tinderbox.
After the Second World War, the State of Israel was established and gradually recognised lawfully by most of the world's countries.
But although the UN recognised the state of Israel in 1948, allowing it to become a member state, it placed the whole city of Jerusalem under international control.
Israel remains determined that Jerusalem be its undivided capital, while Palestinians are seeking to establish their capital in East Jerusalem.
For Israelis, Mr Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital would acknowledge that their government sits in Jerusalem, mainly on its western side — though the United S
Israel's 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem has been considered illegal under international law and was condemned by the UN, as well as other states.
Countries continued to locate their foreign embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel's second largest city.
The refusal to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli territory has become a near-universal policy among Western nations.
The UN still maintains its position on Jerusalem.
In October 2009, the UN's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all — for peace in the Middle East to be achieved.
'Annihilation of peace'
If Trump asserts that US policy is that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, he'd basically be saying the US now recognises Israel's sovereignty over the entire city.
Until now the US has pointedly refrained from recognising the Holy City as Israel's capital to avoid being seen as prejudging the outcome of peace talks, in which Palestinians seek to make East Jerusalem the seat of their eventual government.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, told the New York Times ending that reticence would reveal the US as "so incredibly one-sided and biased" that it "would be the total annihilation of any chances of peace, or any American role in peacemaking."
"They're sending a clear message to the world: We're done," she said.
She warned it could lead to repercussions "that would not be easily contained," including violence: "To people who are looking for an excuse, this would be a ready-made excuse."
Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniya, leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, was similarly critical: "I don't understand why he wants to antagonise over a billion Muslims around the world," he said.
If Trump simply says that just West Jerusalem is Israel's capital, he risks alienating the Israeli government by suggesting that the eastern part of the city isn't included.
So why do it?
Because Trump said he would.
He made a campaign promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Trump have all called for it to be moved there, but both Clinton and Bush back-pedaled once they were in the Oval Office.
Trump has delayed once, but now may be ready to do what they would not.
His announcement will follow months of internal deliberations that grew particularly intense last week, according officials familiar with the discussions, Associated Press reports.
They say he is intent on fulfilling his pledge to move the embassy.
Trump's campaign promises won him the support of powerful pro-Israel voices in the Republican Party. But as president, he has faced equally forceful lobbying from close US allies such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, who have stressed the dangers of abandoning America's carefully balanced position.
Under US law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the US must relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless the president waives the requirement on national security grounds, something required every six months.
Trump is likely to issue a waiver on moving the embassy, the officials said, though they cautioned that the president could always decide otherwise.
All presidents since Clinton have issued the waiver, saying Jerusalem's status is a matter for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate.
Trump signed the waiver at the last deadline in June but the White House made clear he still intended to move the embassy.