Plan to move Israel capital to Jerusalem coming under fire

The President of the United States Donald Trump will announce on Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy there, breaking with long time policy of the United States and potentially threatening regional stability. In spite of the warnings from Western and Arab allies, Trump said in a White House speech at 1 pm which will direct the State Department to start looking for a site for an embassy in Jerusalem as part of what is expected to be several years' process of relocating diplomatic operations from Tel Aviv. The status of Jerusalem has been a stumbling block for decades of on-off Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israel considers the city of Jerusalem it's eternal and indivisible capital and wants all of the embassies based there.

On the other hand, the Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state in the east of the city. One Palestinian envoy said that the decision was a declaration of war in the Middle East. Pope Francis called for 'status quo' of Jerusalem to be respected, saying that the new tension would further enhance world conflicts; while China and Russia expressed concern the plans could aggravate regional hostilities. Washington's Middle East allies have all warned against the dangerous repercussions of the decision that the US president Donald Trump has made. Turkey said it could go as far as breaking off diplomatic connections with Israel if the move of the United States goes ahead. A spokesman for the government said that it would plunge the region into a great fire which has no end.

Trump will sign a national security waiver which will delay the physical move since the United States does not have an embassy structure in Jerusalem to move into. A senior administration official said that it could take more than about three to four years to build one. But the decision of Trump is a core promise of his election campaign of the previous year and will upend decades of American policy that has seen the status of Jerusalem as part of a two-state solution for the Palestinians and the Israelis. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu said on Facebook that each day there are very significant manifestations of our historic national identity but today it is especially so. He also said that he will have more to add on this later today.

December 16, 2017 - 03:59
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