Thursday December 7, 2017
Defiant Trump confirms US will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel
Donald Trump has defied overwhelming global opposition by declaring US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but insisted that the highly controversial move would not derail his own administration’s bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a short speech delivered at the White House, Trump directed the state department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a process that officials say will take at least three years.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
Trump said: “My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, announced his officials would “immediately begin the process to implement this decision by starting the preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem”.
Trump’s announcement provoked condemnation from US allies, and a furious reaction from Palestinian leaders and the Muslim world.
Trump insisted that his decision would not derail his own administration’s attempt to make peace, stressing that he was not stipulating how much of Jerusalem should be considered Israel’s capital. Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their own future state, and Trump did not rule out a future division of the city. (Source: Guardian)