Donald Trump making Jerusalem capital of Israel may drive wedge between Israel, Palestinians

Updated: Dec 07, 2017, 10:43 IST | Agencies | Washington

US Prez recognises city as Israel capital, which could trigger more violence in the Middle East

President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy on Wednesday and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture further drives a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians. In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.

Donald Trump. Pics/AFP
Donald Trump. Pics/AFP

The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - has been one of the thorniest issues in the long-running efforts for peace in the Middle East. Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed, in a move never recognized internationally.

A view of the Jerusalem Old City seen from the Mount of Olives
A view of the Jerusalem Old City seen from the Mount of Olives

Trump acted under a 1995 law that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem. His predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, had consistently put off that decision to avoid inflaming tensions in the Middle East.

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