An embassy move is on hold, but the president plans to declare Jerusalem the capital on Wednesday.
Donald Trump is telling leaders from across the Middle East that he intends to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, an explosive move that will break from 50 years of US foreign policy, potentially derail his administration’s hopes of restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and threaten to spark violence across the region.
Trump reportedly also told King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone that he plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That move won’t be imminent, however. The White House told reporters late Tuesday that the president plans to sign another six-month waiver delaying the embassy move; Trump is expected to publicly announce both decisions on Wednesday.
The administration’s planned announcement is already sparking fury across the Arab world. A spokeswoman for Abbas’s office issued a statement early Tuesday warning of “dangerous consequences” if Trump moves forward with plans to eventually move the embassy. King Abdullah was equally critical, saying in a statement that the White House shift on Jerusalem “will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process.”
Right-wing Israeli leaders, by contrast, didn’t try to disguise their happiness. In a message to Trump, Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party, said he wanted to thank “you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment and intention to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
The sharply divergent reactions highlight the fact that there is almost no other issue in the Middle East as contentious as the future of Jerusalem.
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital. Though Israel’s Parliament and the prime minister’s home are in Read More Here