Donald Trump has announced that the United States now recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a move that upends decades of US policy.
The US president said in a White House speech that he is “determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”. He said he has deemed this change to be in America’s interests. Mr Trump said the decision “marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians”.
President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital marks a “historic day” and is an “important step towards peace”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. World leaders have warned that the move could inflame tensions in the volatile Middle East.
The harsh global reaction to the expected announcement cast questions about the feasibility of a brewing US peace plan that is expected to be presented by the White House in the near future.
The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state and fear that Mr Trump’s declaration essentially imposes on them a disastrous solution for one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“There is no way that there can be talks with the Americans. The peace process is finished. They have already pre-empted the outcome,” said Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi.
“They cannot take us for granted.”