Published: 2017-12-01 10:00
Last Updated: 2017-12-01 10:50
U.S. President Donald Trump is considering recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in a move that could endanger the restart of the long-stalled Israel Palestine peace process.
This week the Trump administration informed U.S. embassies overseas of the plan and possible announcement, so envoys can inform their host government to be prepared for social disruption and possible protests.
Following months of White House deliberations, Trump is expected to make the announcement next week, deviating from former U.S. Presidents who have insisted that it is a matter that must be decided in peace negotiations.
However, Trump is also expected to again delay his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy to the city, U.S. officials said on Thursday. According to officials, the president is likely to continue his predecessor's’ policy of signing a six-month waiver, overriding a 1995 law requiring that the U.S. Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The LA Times reported on Thursday that while Trump is likely to sign the waiver, he expressed anger about having to do so, and stated that postponing the move indefinitely is "unacceptable." The report also said that Trump asked his aides to prepare a plan of longer-term plan on how to eventually move the embassy.
Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump is actively considering how to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. "As we speak, President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Pence said at an event marking the 70th anniversary of a United Nations vote that called for the establishment of Israel.
However, Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned during his visit to Washington that moving the embassy must come within a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel.
He observed that such step would have implications on the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim scenes, and might threaten the two-state solution.
It could be potentially exploited by terrorists to stoke anger, frustration, and desperation in order to spread their ideologies, the King said.
The fate of Jerusalem has long been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With international law maintaining that East Jerusalem is part of the occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinians presume it to be the capital of their future state.