Haley: Trump isn't deciding who controls East Jerusalem

Evarado Alatorre
Diciembre 7, 2017

The announcement leaves many US allies and leaders across the Middle East trying to find a measured response and hoping that the region is not destined for yet another round of bloodshed. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept of a "two-state solution" for Israel and the Palestinians, provided both sides agree to it. Trump is "upending decades of international consensus over this for an end that no one quite can see".

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said Trump's undertaking was a "death sentence for all who seek peace" and called it "a dangerous escalation".

There has long been pressure from pro-Israel politicians in the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and Trump made it a signature promise of his campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

The move already impacted the stock market in far away Japan, which closed down nearly two percent Wednesday in part over concerns on the fate of Jerusalem.

The Egyptian, Saudi and Jordanian governments all released statements on Tuesday warning of the consequences of the decision after their leaders spoke with Trump.

Palestinians protested, and there were violent clashes that quickly escalated into the second Palestinian uprising, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

"The president offered this major American concession of 70 years that no one else was willing to make and he appears to have gotten nothing in return", he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not support Trump's "unilateral" decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and called for calm across the region. "The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognising the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be".

Trump's decision was a campaign promise on the US election trail, but could possibly drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.

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"Matters relating to Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority", she said.

Palestinians have long seen East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. His move "will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division", they said. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, according to live footage from Turkey's state-run TRT television.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would be a "red line" for Muslims and "a big blow to the conscience of humanity".

The White House argues the move would not prejudge final talks and would represent the reality that west Jerusalem is and will continue to be part of Israel under any settlement.

While number two House Democrat Steny Hoyer, a staunch Israel supporter, said Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state is "a fact of history that cannot be denied", the party's leader offered words of warning.

Former Conservative foreign affairs minister John Baird attracted criticism in 2013 when he met a high-ranking Israeli politician in her office in East Jerusalem; that half of the city was captured by Israel in 1967.

In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the American embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem.

The European Union's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, also said it would damage peace talks, and senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said last year that the move would mean "the destruction of the peace process as a whole".

A waiver has been invoked by successive US presidents, postponing the move on grounds of "national security" once every six months, meaning the law has never taken effect.

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