JERUSALEM, Israel – The Trump administration is expected to reverse years of United States policy and announce that US citizens born in Jerusalem can indicate Israel as their country of birth on their passports, Politico reported on Wednesday.
The report said the announcement could come as early as Thursday, just five days before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Currently, American passports only say “Jerusalem,” and not “Jerusalem, Israel” because the holy city’s status has long been disputed as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to the State Department’s policy on its website, the US “recognizes that Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.
The expected change in policy could help the Trump administration rally pro-Israel evangelical Christians before the election.
In December 2017, President Donald Trump officially announced that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy there.
The passport change would be the latest in a series of major Mideast moves the Trump administration has made before the election. On Thursday, the US removed restrictions on providing federal funding for scientific research in Israeli institutions in the Golan Heights and West Bank – territory Palestinians see as part of their future independent state.
The US also brokered historic peace agreements between Israel and its Muslim neighbors in the region – including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan. President Trump said this week at last five more Muslim countries will join that list after the election.