Published on Dec 06, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
The Palestine has announced that President Donald Trump has simply declared an unending war by formally recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
The country’s representative to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, told the BBC today, Wednesday that the changes in the US policy on Jerusalem amounted to a “kiss of death” for the two-state solution in peace efforts and were like a “declaration of war.”
This is even as the British Prime Minister, Theresa May said that she would speak to President Trump about the US move, adding that the UK’s position on Jerusalem had not changed.
She told the parliament that the city’s status should be the subject of negotiation and it should be the shared capital of Israel and a Palestinian state.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett-Usher, in Washington, said that President Trump is expected to try and calm international alarm by stating that the US is prepared to support a two-state solution, if both Israelis and Palestinians agree to it.
But that is not the categorical endorsement of a two-state solution that the Palestinians are looking for, our correspondent adds.
Earlier, America’s friends and foes had unleashed fierce criticism ahead of Donald Trump’s today, Wednesday’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The president previewed ‘a big announcement’ during a cabinet meeting, which he said concerns ‘Israel and the Palestinians in the Middle East. And I think it’s long overdue.’
‘Many presidents have said they want to do something, and they didn’t do it. Whether it’s through courage or they change their mind I can’t tell you. But a lot of people have said we have to do something, and they didn’t do it.’
A senior administration official said yesterday, Tuesday that the president would also launch a long process of moving America’s embassy there from Tel Aviv.
‘The president believes this is a recognition of reality,’ the official said.
While Israel welcomed the news, Palestinian officials declared the Mideast peace process ‘finished’ and Turkey announced it would host a meeting of Islamic nations next week to give Muslim countries’ leaders an opportunity to coordinate a response.
In Gaza, U.S. and Israeli flags were burned and in the West bank Hamas declared Friday a ‘day of rage,’ raising the specter of mass violence in the occupied territories.
World reacts to Trump’s move
“I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts.” –Pope Francis
“Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians – a negotiated settlement that we want to see. We have no plans ourselves to move our embassy.” –Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary
“Our historical national identity is receiving important expressions every day.” –Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
“Declaring Jerusalem a capital is disregarding history and the truths in the region. It is a big injustice/cruelty, shortsightedness, foolishness/madness, it is plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight.” –Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag
“He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions of Christians, that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel.” –Manuel Hassassian, chief Palestinian representative to Britain
“That they claim they want to announce (Jerusalem) as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” –Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
In his formal declaration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel today, Wednesday, President said it is “a long overdue step” to advance the Middle East peace process even as the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas responded to the decision by saying the US could no longer be a peace broker.
The fate of the ancient city is one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
President Trump said the US would support a two-state solution, if approved by both sides, but Abbas said that his “deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts”.
The Palestinian leader earlier warned of “dangerous consequences” through a spokesman, a sentiment echoed by other Arab leaders, who said there could be unrest.
Demonstrations have already taken place outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and a large labour union in Tunisia has called for mass protests.
Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump said he had “judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians”.
The president said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a historic day, and Israel was profoundly grateful to President Trump.
Jerusalem contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but is not internationally recognised as part of Israel.
The US decision comes despite vocal opposition in the Muslim world, even among US allies.
On Tuesday Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said that the relocation of the embassy or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world”.
But moving the embassy fulfils a campaign promise and appeals to Mr Trump’s right-wing base.
“Today, I am delivering,” the US leader said, referencing the campaign pledge.
Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he added.
“It is also the right thing to do.”
The decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a reversal of decades of US foreign policy, and differs sharply from the rest of the international community’s view on Jerusalem’s status.
The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and until now all countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was “a moment of great anxiety”.
“There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B,” he said.
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