Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
  
 

Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in reversal of policy

Washington: President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy on Wednesday and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture further drives a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.



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Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s …

Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

US President Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of US policy and risk potentially violent protests.

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Trump takes credit for military gains against Islamic State



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Trump takes credit for military gains …

Trump takes credit for military gains against Islamic State

President Trump thanked the military on Wednesday, for “doing such a great job with respect to ISIS,” but told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, “of course I’ve made it possible with what I’ve allowed them to do.”

Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

US President Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of US policy and risk potentially violent protests.

The status of Jerusalem – home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions – has been one of the thorniest issues in long-running Middle East peace efforts.

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

Trump’s decision is likely to please his core supporters – Republican conservatives and evangelical Christians who comprise an important share of his political base.

Trump aides contend the move reflects the reality of Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish faith and the fact that the city is the seat of the Israeli government.

Trump called his decision a “a long overdue” step to advance the peace process.

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“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

President Donald Trump making his statement about recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim ...

President Donald Trump making his statement about recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition. Photo: AP

Trump acted under a 1995 law that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem. His predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, had consistently put off that decision to avoid inflaming tensions in the Middle East.

A Palestinian envoy said the Trump decision was a declaration of war in the Middle East.

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump Photo: AP

The Palestinians have said Trump’s move would mean the “kiss of death” to the two-state solution, envisaging a Palestinian state in territory – the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem – that Israel took in the 1967 war.

“He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims (and) hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel,” Manuel Hassassian, the chief Palestinian representative to Britain, told BBC radio.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem  Photo: AP

Palestinians seethed with anger and a sense of betrayal.

“Trump wants to help Israel take over the entire city. Some people may do nothing, but others are ready to fight for Jerusalem,” said Hamad Abu Sbeih, 28, an unemployed resident of the walled Old City in East Jerusalem.

“This decision will ignite a fire in the region. Pressure leads to explosions.”

Pope Francis called for Jerusalem’s status quo to be respected, saying new tension would further inflame world conflicts. 

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations,” Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace,” he said.

China and Russia expressed concern the plans could aggravate Middle East hostilities.

Reuters, New York Times