Trump Says US To Recognize Jerusalem As Israeli Capital — Middle East Leaders

Miércoles, 06 Dic, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence said in late November that Trump was "actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem".

This is a highly controversial decision; the Israeli government claims Jerusalem as its capital, but the Palestinian National Authority (PA) considers East Jerusalem to be Palestinian territory illegally occupied by Israel since the Six Day War in 1967, and sees East Jerusalem as the capital in the future Palestinian state.

The Jordanian king "affirmed that the decision will have serious implications that will undermine efforts to resume the peace process and will provoke Muslims and Christians alike", said a statement from his office.

A senior White House official said: "This is bringing US policy fundamentally in line with the will of the American people". In June, Trump renewed the waiver, as a string of predecessors has done. Lawyers have said there's some flexibility in the exact timing.

What is so contentious about Jerusalem's status?

The Trump administration has blown through many other congressional deadlines without consequence in the past. However, as talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders continued without resolution, the move was repeatedly postponed in the interest of preserving the peace process and U.S. security, with a presidential waiver issued every six months to explain why the move should not take place.

The statement warned that this step would "provoke sentiments of Muslims throughout world". Two weeks ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said American Jews lead "convenient lives" and don't send their children to serve in the military, here or there. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton made similar vows to move the embassy during their presidential campaigns, but both later decided not to pursue the relocation when faced with political realities.

In a frantic series of calls, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the European Union, France, Germany and Turkey all warned Trump against the move.

Israel's supreme court and parliament are housed in Jerusalem, making it Israel's legislative and judicial capital, while the city of Ramallah is the current seat of the PA government.

Trump is to publicly address the question of Jerusalem on Wednesday and US officials familiar with his planning said he would declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital, though he would not order the embassy move immediately.

U.S. officials have said a possible recognition might come this week, prompting mounting Arab and Muslim criticism.

He is scheduled to deliver remarks and White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said he was "pretty solid" in his thinking on the issue.

Today, it is home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, and the iconic gold-topped Dome of the Rock. For decades, U.S. policy has stated that Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate the city's status among themselves. Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital makes the US president and his administration wholly unable to act as a "neutral mediator".

Palestinians burned pictures of US President Donald Trump in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday night, as anger ramped up over an expected announcement by Trump Wednesday of US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.