Donald Trump set to announce US will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, White House confirms

The White House has confirmed that President Donald Trump will formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital tomorrow, a move which Middle Eastern leaders have warned will cross a “red line” and cause renewed conflict in the region.

Key points:

  • Donald Trump will go ahead with the controversial move tomorrow
  • Arab leaders have warned it will further inflame the region
  • The decision to move the embassy breaks with policy that goes back almost to Israel’s creation

Breaking with decades of US policy, Mr Trump has already told leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan that he plans to move America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The decision has sparked fears of a new wave of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories and across the Arab world.

Already protesters have burned posters bearing Donald Trump’s face at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, to voice their anger at the decision.

Jerusalem is home to key Muslim, Christian and Jewish shrines, which have long been a flashpoint in the protracted Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The United Nations, in its 1947 plan on partition, resolved to place Jerusalem under a “permanent international regime” administered by the UN, meaning neither the Israelis or the Palestinians could claim the city as their capital.

That remains the UN position, even though Israel captured the old city and East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and has since passed laws declaring Jerusalem its “eternal and undivided capital”.

In the decades since, the international community — including the US — has refused to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Change reflects ‘reality’ on the ground, White House says

 

White House officials have said there will be two core components to the President’s speech.

The first will be that the United States government will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The second will be to direct the US State Department to begin the process of moving the US embassy from its current site in Tel Aviv to a site in Jerusalem.

“He views this and we view this as a recognition of reality,” officials said.

“Both historic reality that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people, the Jewish faith, since ancient times, and modern reality that it has been the seat of government of all important — not all but nearly all of the Israeli government — its government ministries, its legislature, its supreme court etc, in Israel since 1948.”

 

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