Trump Provokes Palestinians and World's Muslims with Vow to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem
December 6, 2017
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jack Khoury and Noa Landau / Haaretz & Reuters
Despite widespread warnings of "dangerous consequences," senior US officials say Donald Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday and delay embassy relocation for another six months, yet begin planning the move immediately. Saudi King Salman warned Trump that transferring the embassy is a dangerous step that will inflame feelings of Muslims. Fatah has already begun preparations for "three days of rage" protest rallies.
Trump to Relocate Israel Embassy to Jerusalem
Palestinians Scramble to Protest Move, Plan Demonstrations
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(December 5, 2017) -- President Trump has informed Palestinian and Jordanian officials that an upcoming announcement, excepted as soon as Wednesday, will see the US formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, effective immediately. The embassy will also be moved to Jerusalem, though this is likely to take up to six months to finalize.
Israel declared Jerusalem to be its capital in 1980, though since it includes substantially amounts of illegally occupied territory, this relocation is not generally recognized, and foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly sent messages to EU officials, the Pope, the Jordanian king, and Russia trying to get someone to talk the US out of the move. The Palestinian Authority has also announced "three days of rage" protests starting Wednesday.
The timing couldn't be worse, coming amid reports the US and Saudi governments intend to push a new peace deal which is overwhelmingly biased in favor of Israel, and which leaves the Palestinians with only "limited sovereignty" and no state.
There has been some speculation that a US move to recognize Jerusalem would lead to a number of such recognition internationally. That doesn't necessarily seem to be the case, however, as Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticized the US move as counterproductive, noting it came without any consultation with the EU.
Indeed it may risk an EU pushback, with Gabriel saying it might force Germany to "spell out" its own position and its limits. The EU has long been a lot more critical of the Israeli occupation than the US has, and being cut out of this scheme might make them even moreso.
Trump Tells Abbas, Jordan's Abdullah
He Intends to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem
Jack Khoury and Noa Landau / Haaretz & Reuters
(December 5, 2017) -- US President Donald Trump told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah that he plans to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Tuesday, according to Abbas' spokesman and Jordanian reports.
Trump also called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and Saudi King Salman to inform them of the decision.
Trump will deliver remarks about his decision on whether to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the White House said Tuesday, adding that Trump is pretty solid in his thinking on the issue.
Senior US officials said Tuesday Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital while delaying relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months, though he is expected to order his aides to begin planning such a move immediately. The officials said, however, that no final decisions have been made.
Following the call, Abbas urged the Pope and the leaders of Russia, France and Jordan to intervene against Trump's declared intention to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Abbas's spokesman said.
During the call with Trump, Abbas warned that the action will have "dangerous consequences," said Abbas' spokesman, adding that "the Palestinian stance is determined and steadfast - there will not be a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital according to decisions by the international community." Abbas was holding an emergency meeting in his bureau following the phone conversation with Trump.
Abdullah also warned Trump of the decision's repercussions on Middle East security and stability. Abdullah pledged he would thwart any American initiative to renew the peace process and would encourage resistance among Muslims and Christians alike.
King Salman told Trump that transferring the embassy is a dangerous step that will inflame feelings of Muslims.
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