Donald Trump, the President of United States, announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday. Trump asked the U.S. embassy to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said in a speech. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The announcement resulted in reversal of the decade-long U.S. policy. Moreover, this move has brought uncertainty to the ongoing peace efforts in the Middle East and could enrage the Arabs.
Trump also announced his administration would start the process of shifting the embassy to Jerusalem. His predecessors avoided taking this step due to rising tensions between Israel and Palestine. Jerusalem’s status was one of the hurdles in arriving at the peace agreement between two nations.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel acclaimed Trump’s decision as a “historic landmark”. However, Great Britain and France have deeply criticized the move.
Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestine outlined that the U.S. stepped down from its role in peace efforts as a mediator with the announcement. Palestinian seculars and Islamist factions announced a general strike and organized rallies in protest of the decision on Thursday.
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital fulfills the promise he had made during his pre-election campaign. This is definitely going to make Republican conservatives and evangelicals elated, as they are vital part of his domestic support.
Diplomats said that the United Nations Security Council will hold a meeting to discuss Trump’s decision on Friday.