In a major announcement, United States President Donald Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel late Wednesday night and directed the State Department to initiate the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which many Arab leaders warn can trigger an upheaval in the already volatile Middle East. Trump has started speaking.
While previewing his announcement on Israel, Trump said at the White House that “it’s long overdue.” He said, “Many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn’t do it.” Also Read | Top quotes from Donald Trump’s historic announcement
Also, The US State Department, in cable to all US diplomatic posts, asks officials to defer non-essential travel to Israel, Jerusalem and West Bank until December 20.
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12:40 pm: Exiled Palestinian politician Mohammed Dahlan also reacted to Trump’s decision and said Palestinians should reject any future peace talks and halt security coordination with Israel over US plans to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
12:31 pm: The head of the Islamic militant group Hamas is accusing Donald Trump of disregarding Palestinian feelings with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement that the Palestinian people “know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries.” “The decision will not change the facts of history and geography,” he said.
12:30 pm: Egypt also rejected the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, said the foreign ministry statement.
12:29 pm: Turkey’s foreign ministry also condemned a decision by the United States to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as “irresponsible” and called on Washington to reconsider the move.
12:28 pm: French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not support U.S. President Donald Trump’s “unilateral” decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and called for calm across the region. “The status of Jerusalem is a question of international security that concerns the entire international community. The status of Jerusalem must be determined by Israelis and Palestinians in the framework of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations,” he said.
After 8 years of the Obama Administration’s failure to support our closest ally, this sends a powerful message to the world – the U.S. will stand shoulder to shoulder with #Israel, our friend and the stronghold of democracy in the Middle East. http://t.co/KRnvT9zgKk
— Rep. David Kustoff (@repdavidkustoff) December 6, 2017
12:27 pm: Donald Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.
12:26 pm: Donald Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.
12:25 pm: The White House Also said, “The Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our Congressional and international partners on this issue. President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995. This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.”
12:24 pm: White House tweeted: President Trump is following through on his promise to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the US Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
President Trump is following through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. More: http://t.co/NLHlqwXYYZ pic.twitter.com/Ewb0DZoL2z
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 6, 2017
12:10 pm: The Union for Reform Judaism in the United States says President Donald Trump’s anticipated announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “ill-timed.”
12:05 pm: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that there was no alternative to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and that Jerusalem was a final-status issue that should be resolved through direct talks.
12:04 pm: Netanyahu also pledged no change to the status quo at Jerusalem’s highly sensitive holy sites in the city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
12:00 pm: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Trump recognition of Jerusalem as capital marks ‘historic day,’ is `important step toward peace’. Netanyahu said that Israel is “profoundly grateful” and that Trump’s announcement is an “important step toward peace.” He also said that his country will continue to work with the president and his team to make that dream of peace come true.
This is a historic day. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Thank you, @realDonaldTrump! 🇮🇱🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/mWCUpUMpiC
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 6, 2017
11:51 pm: Donald Trump says US prepared to back two-state solution if the two parties want that.
11:48 pm: The United States is not taking position on any final status issues, including contested borders. US remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace agreement acceptable to both sides, says Donald Trump
11:47 pm: Trump says this decision is not intended to reflect departure from strong US commitment to lasting peace.
11:45 pm: Donald Trump directs the government to begin preparations to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said it is recognition of a reality.
11:44 pm: Trump says Jerusalem must remain holy site for three major religions
11:42 pm: Tearing up long-standing convention, US President Donald Trump says the US recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
11:36 pm: For over 20 years every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, under the belief that it will advance the cause of peace.”
11:33 pm: My announcement mark the beginning of a new approach the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
11:32 pm: When I came to the office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We can not solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past.
11:30 pm: Donald Trump Has started speaking. Stay connected for the updates.
On Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump was “pretty solid” in his decision, and he will make the “best decision for the United States.
Reacting to it, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reportedly on Tuesday told Trump that the decision “would harm peace negotiation process and escalate tension in the region.” He also said that it would “constitute a flagrant provocation to all Muslims, all over the world.”
(With inputs from agencies)