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US to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list 'Israel' on their passports

The Trump administration has announced that Americans born in Jerusalem can request to have Israel listed on their US passports as their place of birth

The Trump administration has announced that Americans born in Jerusalem can request to have Israel listed on their US passports as their place of birth.

In a statement released today, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said: "Effective immediately, the State Department will allow US citizens born in Jerusalem to elect to list their place of birth as "Israel." Applicants born in Jerusalem will be able to request either "Jerusalem" or "Israel" as their place of birth on consular documents."

"Other guidance on listing the place of birth in Israel, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, and the West Bank remains unchanged."

He added that the US "remains strongly committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement."

The change in policy comes less than a week before the US election and as US President Donald Trump touts himself as one of the most pro-Israel presidents.

Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and moved the US embassy to the occupied city from Tel Aviv. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said he would not reverse that policy.

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Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), said this development "shows America has not only recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving the embassy, but that American citizens born in Jerusalem will no longer be stateless."

In 2015, American Supreme Court struck down part of a federal statute that allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to record their place of birth as "Israel" on their passport.

Jerusalem's status was to be determined as part of bilateral peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials under a plan that envisioned two states for two peoples, but the prospects for such a deal have been repeatedly undercut by Trump.

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