Netizen 24 IRL: Trump to announce US will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Posted by On 12:40 AM

Trump to announce US will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel

US president Donald Trump is to announce plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a speech on Wednesday that risks alienating US allies and sparking unrest in the Middle East.

Senior White House officials confirmed that Mr Trump will use a speech at the White House to “recognise the reality” that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

A senior official said Mr Trump will announce that the United States government “recognises that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

“He views this as a recognition of reali ty â€" both historic reality that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish faith since ancient times,” adding that in “modern reality… it has been the seat of government, important ministries, its legislature, the Supreme court.”

He said the announcement “fulfills a major campaign promise that had been made by a number of previous presidential candidates, and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. ”

While the president will direct the State Department to develop a plan to move the embassy, officials conceded the actual process of relocating the embassy could take several years. “It is a practical impossibility to move the embassy tomorrow,” one official said.

The announcement marks a dramatic shift in US foreign policy towards the Middle East.

While Congress in 1995 passed a bill calling for the embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem, successive US presidents have signed a waiver every six months allowing the embassy to remain in Tel Aviv.

Mr Trump informed the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and other Muslim leaders of his intention to move the embassy in a series of phone calls on Tuesday.

Mr Abbas’ spokesman said the Palestinian leader warned the president of the “dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world.”

Turkey also warned Washington that the issue was a “red line” for Muslim countries.

Later in the day, several Palestinian groups called for three days of “popular anger” to protest against Mr Trump’s move.

French president Emmanuel Macron led European objections to the reported move.

During a phone call with Mr Trump he said that Jerusalem’s status had to be dealt with in the framework of peace negotiations “with the aim in particular to establish two countries, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security side by side with Jerusalem as capital,” his spokesman said.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, speaking alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a visit to Brussels, said that “any action that would undermine” peace efforts to create two separate states for the Israelis and the Palestinians “must absolutely be avoided.”

President Trump sparked international concern in the early weeks of his presidency when he appeared to question the necessity of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, a bedrock of the international policy on the Middle East for decades.

Senior administration officials however said that Mr Trump was still committed to the two-state solution if both sides were in agreement.

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