It is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,’ says Trump
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperilling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.
Speaking in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump also announced his plan to eventually relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and begin the difficult logistical work of building a new diplomatic facility in the contested city.
The president’s announcement provoked condemnation from US allies and a furious reaction from Palestinian leaders and the Muslim world. Within minutes of Trump’s announcement, US embassies in Turkey, Jordan, Germany and Britain issued security alerts urging Americans to exercise caution.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised America’s ‘courageous and just decision’ and said it was a ‘historic day’.
The United Nations Security Council is likely to meet on Friday to discuss the move, after a request by eight countries on the 15-member body, including the UK, Italy and France.
Mahmoud Abbas has lambasted the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the Palestinian leadership refuses to acknowledge President Donald Trump’s contentious move and Palestinian leaders called for three days of rage against the move.
Palestiniani protesters took to the streets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, bearing Palestinian flags and shouting slogans denouncing the announcement by the Trump administration. Students also held demonstrations in the West Bank.
The Islamist group Hamas said the decision ‘opened the gates of hell’ on US interests in the Middle East.
Iran warned it would ‘provoke Muslims’ and lead to an ‘increase in radical, angry and violent behaviour.
Turkey called it ‘irresponsible’ while Egypt’s foreign ministry also rejected the US President’s declaration.
But the move marks a break with years of US precedent – and with the general global opinion, which sees the fate of Jerusalem as a matter for comprehensive “final status” negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.