The US Pivot on Jerusalem — Why it Matters

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Moving the embassy could therefore be a process that takes years, requiring immense planning and security considerations as the U.S. looks for a new site to host its diplomatic staff.

"Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine" and that Mr Trump's move was "tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator".

Ali Nassereddine, a chef from the Shia suburb of Dahiyeh in south Beirut, claimed Trump's announcement had likely been coordinated with the Saudis and other allies, including the UAE.

Trump on Wednesday delivered on a campaign pledge to officially acknowledge Jerusalem as the Isreali capital. Some 200,000 Israelis living in settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, will also celebrate.

"The sooner the Arab world recognizes Jerusalem as our capital, the sooner we will reach real peace". Now he's making a blunt opening move that will greatly reduce any hope for a breakthrough or American clout on the crucial topic.

King Abdullah said Jordan "completely supports the Palestinian brothers in preserving their historic and legal rights in Jerusalem and their efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital", the official Jordanian news agency Petra reported. Since the early 1990s, the Vatican has called for a special status for the city. The European Union, along with Germany, Britain and France, as well as the pope and key Arab allies, have denounced the move. He noted that already a gathering of Arab foreign ministers has been organized for Dec. 11 as well as a meeting prepared by Turkey for Muslim countries.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity pending Trump's announcement, said the decision was merely an acknowledgment of "historical and current reality" rather than a political statement and said the city's physical and political borders will not be compromised.

The State Department had no immediate comment on either document.

In Beirut, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, called for demonstrations on Monday to protest against the decision. The U.S. labels Hamas a terrorist organization.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there was no alternative to a two-state solution and Jerusalem was a final-status matter only to be settled through direct talks. The long, hard slog to achieve peace just got harder.

Both Israelis and Palestinians lay claim to Jerusalem, but Israel has controlled the city since 1967. It's not that the United States has previously failed to recognize Jerusalem as the "political capital" of Israel; it has for decades. But past U.S. presidents have set their sights on the far more important goal of bringing peace and stability to the region.

In a familiar scene, at a checkpoint in Ramallah, protesters chucked homemade Molotov cocktails and used slingshots to send rocks flying across the makeshift front line toward the Israeli military. Another survey released on Monday demonstrated that younger evangelicals are much less supportive of Israel than their older counterparts despite their belief in the bible, and many believe Christians should be more considerate of Palestinians.

As Trump's fringe idea takes hold, it could lead to worse: a revival of terrorist attacks that surged during a prior standoff in negotiations.

Contributing to this story was Doreen Abi Raad in Beirut.

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