The President reportedly told Israeli and Arab leaders on Tuesday that he plans to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – with an announcement is expected later today.
In the controversial announcement, Trump will reveal plans to move the American Embassy currently in Israel’s Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, therefore recognising Jerusalem as the capital.
Palestinian leaders have called for three “days of rage” in protest and the US State Department also issued a travel warning about the West Bank and Jerusalem’s Old City.
Most countries – including Russia, China and Australia – have their embassies in Tel Aviv. The UK has embassy offices in Tel Aviv and East Jerusalem.
Critics believe the move will upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Saudi King Salman, in a call with Trump, blasted the US President’s plans, saying it would be a “flagrant provocation of Muslims all over the world”.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the core issues of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Israel faced international condemnation after it annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 – provoking Palestinians to declare their independence eight years later and announcing the city as its capital.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II also warned Trump against the move “stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world” according to a statement from his royal palace.
It said: “King Abdullah stressed that the adoption of this resolution will have serious implications for security and stability in the Middle East, and will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process and fuel the feelings of Muslims and Christians.”
A spokesman for Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), based in Jerusalem, said: “It’s very serious. Things look very bad.”
King Abdullah also spoke reportedly with assuring him of Jordan’s support for the Palestinians “in preserving their historic rights in Jerusalem and the need to work together to confront the consequences of this decision”.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was annexed by Israel, while East Jerusalem was seized by Jordan.
On December 5, 1949, Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared Jerusalem as the “eternal” and “sacred” capital, although it was not put into Israeli law until 1980 after the nation also seized East Jerusalem.
The move was met with international…