“Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years.”
President Donald Trump has informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah of his intention to make good on a contentious campaign promise: to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and Saudi King Salman have also received forewarning of the executive decision.
According to senior U.S. officials, the President will officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but delay relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months, due to logistical and security concerns.
The embassy move which has been delayed since 1995, when Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act stating that the city “should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel” complete with the U.S. embassy located there. The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all signed waivers in the hopes of not inflaming regional tensions and dooming the peace process given the mutual interest of the parties in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority has been steadfast in its resolve to see East Jerusalem as its capital.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also says diplomatic ties will be cut and that Jerusalem is “a red line for Muslims.”
Notably, Haaretz reports Abbas has already urged the Pope, Russia, France and Jordan to intervene, warning Trump over the phone of “dangerous consequences” including a death knell for any hopes of renewing the peace process and the possible severing of diplomatic ties. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also says diplomatic ties will be cut and that Jerusalem is “a red line for Muslims.” Jordan’s King Abdullah is likewise against the embassy move.
The EU and various European nations have also expressed concern over the fallout and what it means for the future of a two-state solution.
Marches and protests are anticipated in the West Bank and elsewhere.
Israel has responded that “Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years.”
The Trump White House argues that final talks are not in jeopardy and this affirms that Jerusalem is and will continue to be part of Israel under any settlement, according to an AFP report.
Jerusalem is the third holiest site for Muslims following Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.