Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 07-12-2017
US President Donald Trump has reversed decades of US policy 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 much anticipated speech in Washington on Wednesday Trump said he ordered the state department to develop a plan to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump says he was not taking position on any final status issues, including contested borders.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
Trump also said he intended “to do everything” in his power to help forge a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
Trump acted under a 1995 law that requires the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
Every US President from Harry Truman to 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 says the Trump decision was a declaration of war in the Middle East. Pope Francis called for Jerusalem’s status quo to be respected, saying new tension would further inflame world conflicts. China and Russia expressed concern the plans could aggravate Middle East hostilities.