Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem fulfilled a core campaign promise, but sparked anger across the Arab world.
Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital for a future state, and decades of U.S. policy has said the status of Jerusalem should be decided in peace talks between Israel and Palestine.
If the president had decided to attend the ceremony, it could have amplified protests that are expected to break out around the opening.
Still, Trump had left the door open to a trip just two weeks ago.
“I may go. I’m very proud of it,” Trump said of the embassy during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.