Arab League tells Donald Trump to abandon Jerusalem recognition

Updated: Dec 11, 2017, 12:07 IST | Agencies

League says US president's 'void' announcement 'threatens to plunge region into more violence'

Arab foreign ministers late on Saturday urged the United States to abandon its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the move would increase violence throughout the region. The announcement by President Donald Trump on Wednesday was a "dangerous violation of international law", had no legal impact and was "void", the Arab League said in a statement after a session attended by all its members in Cairo.

Lebanese security forces use a water hose to disperse protestors during a demonstration against Trump’s move outside the US embassy in Awkar, on the outskirts of Beirut. Pic/ AFP

"The decision has no legal effect ... it deepens tension, ignites anger and threatens to plunge region into more violence and chaos," the Arab League said at 3 am local time after hours of meetings that began on Saturday evening.

It said it would seek a UN Security Council resolution rejecting the US move. Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said during the emergency meeting that Arab nations should consider imposing economic sanctions against the United States to prevent it moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

"Pre-emptive measures (must be) taken ... beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions," he said, without giving specific details. The Arab League statement made no mention of economic sanctions. Agencies

Israel destroys Hamas tunnel

Israeli forces on Sunday destroyed a "significant" cross-border attack tunnel from the Gaza Strip, which the military said was being dug by Hamas. The tunnel destroyed on Sunday ran hundreds of metres into Israeli territory and, though unfinished, was a new project that showed "a significant effort by Hamas", said military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus. Israel has placed a high priority on halting the tunnel threat since 2014, when Hamas infiltrated the country.

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