Reaction to President’s Move to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Israeli prime minister calls it a ‘historic day.’

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington.

By Published on December 6, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

Eight countries opposed to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have asked for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council this week.

Sweden’s U.N. Mission says the eight nations have asked Japan, this month’s council president, to have Secretary-General Antonio Guterres brief the 15 council members.

The eight council nations that requested the meeting are Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Guterres said after Trump’s announcement that the issue must be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and warned that “unilateral measures” can jeopardize prospects for peace.

In a resolution adopted last December the council said it “will not recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967, lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

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4 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is opposing U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a tweet Wednesday directed at Trump, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert quotes Merkel saying, “The German government doesn’t support this stance, because the status of Jerusalem must be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution.”

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3:50 p.m.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition doesn’t automatically make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Cavusoglu said Wednesday in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, that “with one announcement by a country, Jerusalem cannot be the capital of Israel.”

Cavusoglu adds, “You can’t come out and say, ‘I’m a great power, I can do what I want.’

“There can be no understanding under which one can say I made such an announcement and it will become reality,” Cavusoglu insists.

He says “the whole world opposes it and it is wrong.”

Cavusoglu also describes Trump’s move as a “dangerous step,” adding, “we would have wished that this decision were never taken.”

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3:45 p.m.

U.S. ally Jordan has slammed President Donald Trump’s recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying it stokes anger in the region and violates U.S. resolutions.

The pro-Western kingdom has a special stake in the city whose Israeli-annexed eastern sector is sought by the Palestinians as a future capital.

Jordan has a large population of Palestinian origin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II serves as guardian of the third holiest site of Islam, located in east Jerusalem.

The monarch is to meet Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan to coordinate a response.

Government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Wednesday that Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem pre-empts the outcome of future peace negotiations, “fuels anger and provokes the feelings of Muslims and Christians.”

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3:40 p.m.

The European Union says it has “serious concern” about the impact of the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on the future of the peace process.

The EU said Wednesday its position “remains unchanged” and wants the status of Jerusalem “as the future capital of both states” to be settled through negotiations.

The 28-nation EU called for restraint and calm to stave off any escalation.

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3:30 p.m.

Palestinians have taken to the streets in the Gaza Strip to protest the decision by President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Dozens of angry youths burned tires in spontaneous protests at several locations Wednesday after Trump’s declaration.

The Islamic militant group Hamas has called for more protests over the coming days. Hamas controls Gaza, and the U.S. and the European Union consider it a terrorist organization

Trump’s announcement breaks with decades of U.S. foreign policy.

It brought warnings from leaders in the Mideast and elsewhere that the move could inflame tensions in the volatile Mideast and complicate Mideast peace efforts.

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3:05 p.m.

U.S. embassies in the Middle East and Europe are warning Americans traveling or living there of the potential for violent protests after President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Within minutes of Trump’s announcement, the embassies in Turkey, Jordan, Germany and Britain issued security alerts urging Americans to exercise vigilance and caution. Other embassies are expected to follow suit.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara says it expects protests to take place near its location as well as the consulates in Istanbul and Adana.

The U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, says it would close to the public on Thursday and has banned employees from leaving the capital. The children of embassy employees have been told to stay home from school and all Americans there are advised to keep a low profile.

U.S. Embassies in Berlin, London and Minsk, Belarus issued identical warnings.

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3 p.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump made a “bold move” by implementing a U.S. law that has long called for the American Embassy in Israel to move to Jerusalem.

Tillerson is in Germany for a brief stop and made the comment as he met with U.S. military commanders. Earlier in the day, Trump said he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Tillerson says planning for a Jerusalem embassy will start immediately — and that includes picking a site. But he says building the embassy will take time.

There’s opposition in the Arab world to Trump’s decision, and Tillerson says the State Department has taken necessary precautions to ensure the safety of U.S. personnel in the region.

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2:35 p.m.

Egypt has denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Egypt was the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel — that came in 1979.

A Foreign Ministry statement says Trump’s decision is a violation of international resolutions on the city’s status.

The statement says Egypt is worried about the impact of the U.S. move on the stability of the region and about its “extremely negative” impact on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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2:30 p.m.

The Palestinian leader says President Donald Trump has destroyed his credibility as a Mideast peace broker after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’) says in a televised statement that Trump’s decision “is a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process.”

Trump’s Mideast peace team has held months of meetings with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders for nearly a year ahead of an expected peace proposal.

By recognizing Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Trump is seen by the Palestinians as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem — which Israel captured in 1967 — for their capital.

Abbas says the Palestinian leadership will meet in the coming days and consult with Arab leaders to formulate a response.

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2:15 p.m.

France’s leader says President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “a regrettable decision that France does not approve.”

Emmanuel Macron says Trump’s decision “contravenes international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

Macron also says the status of Jerusalem “will have to be determined by Israelis and Palestinians in negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.”

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2:10 p.m.

An adviser to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’) says President Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem has “isolated the U.S. from any role in the peace process.”

Nabil Shaath says Trump’s speech “gave Israel what it wants and gave us nothing.”

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as their capital. It was captured by Israel in 1967.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while paying little recognition to the Palestinian claim to the eastern part of the city.

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2 p.m.

Hundreds of people in Turkey are staging demonstrations near U.S. diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul.

The demonstrations came after President Donald Trump announced that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

And Turkey’s foreign minister has condemned what he says is an “irresponsible” decision by Trump.

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1:50 p.m.

The head of the Islamic militant group Hamas is accusing President Donald Trump of disregarding Palestinian feelings with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Ismail Haniyeh says in a statement that the Palestinian people “know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries.”

He says the decision “will not change the facts of history and geography.”

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and other Western allies.

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1:45 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (goo-TEHR’-esh) is speaking out against what he says are “unilateral measures” that jeopardize the prospect for peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

He’s speaking after President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But the U.N. leader says the issue of Jerusalem must be resolved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Guterres tells reporters that “in this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B.”

The U.N. chief never mentioned Trump’s decision in his remarks.

Guterres says he’ll do “everything in my power” to promote the return to negotiations by Israeli and Palestinian leaders “and to realize this vision of a lasting peace for both people.”

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1:35 p.m.

Israel’s prime minister calls it a “historic day” — following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Benjamin Netanyahu says in a statement that Israel is “profoundly grateful” and that Trump’s announcement is an “important step toward peace.”

The Israeli leader says his country “will continue to work with the president and his team to make that dream of peace come true.’

Trump is pledging to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu is urging other countries to follow suit.

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1:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s directing the State Department to begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump says the move would allow the department to begin hiring architects and making other plans. Trump says the move is “a recognition of reality.”

The move breaks with decades of U.S. foreign policy. And the president is defying warnings from global leaders that it would it more difficult to achieve a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

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1:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is trying to make the case that his decision about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “long overdue” and will advance the Mideast peace process.

Trump says he intends to do “everything” in his power “to help forge” a peace deal.

Trump is also acknowledging that “there will of course be disagreement and dissent” over the moves, including relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv.

But he’s calling for calm in response to his announcement.

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1:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

He said in a White House speech that he has “determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Trump says he’s deemed this change to be in America’s interests.

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The president says the decision “marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

World leaders have warned that the move could inflame tensions in the volatile Mideast.

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1:10 p.m.

The Jerusalem municipality has illuminated the walls of the Old City red, white and blue to show thanks to President Trump’s recognition of it as Israel’s capital.

Mayor Nir Barkat says the main entrance to the city will also be lit in America’s colors and American flags will be flown across major streets of the city on Thursday.

Barkat says Trump’s announcement “sends a clear message to the entire world” that the United States stands with Israel and the Jewish people.

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1:05 p.m.

The White House has released early excerpts of President Donald Trump’s speech on plans to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and he’s saying the U.S. remains “deeply committed” to achieving Mideast peace.

Trump is saying he intends “to do everything” in his power to help forge a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

As part of his announcement, he plans to instruct the State Department to begin the long process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

And Trump is acknowledging opposition to his plans.

He says: “There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation.”

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12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is previewing his announcement on Israel — saying at the White House that “it’s long overdue.”

The president isn’t offering details of the decision during a Cabinet meeting. But he’s expected to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instruct the State Department to begin the long process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump says “many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn’t do it.” He says he’ll be making the announcement later in the day.

Mideast leaders say Trump’s expected decision could lead to violent protests and complicate Mideast peace efforts.

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11:10 a.m.

Bolivia’s U.N. ambassador says he’ll seek a U.N. Security Council meeting as soon as possible if President Donald Trump declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Bolivia is serving a two-year term on the U.N.’s most powerful panel.

Ambassador Sacha Llorentty Soliz, tells reporters that declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “will be a reckless and a dangerous decision that goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council, and also weakens any effort for peace in the region.”

Soliz says such a decision would threaten prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, as well as jeopardize international peace and security.

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10:05 a.m.

Leaders of major Christian denominations in the Holy Land have appealed to President Donald Trump to rethink his expected decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

They say in a letter that Trump’s steps will mean “increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.”

Their letter asks Trump to walk toward “more love and a definitive peace” by continuing to recognize the international status of Jerusalem.

And they say that “any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm.”

The letter was signed by all of the city’s major church figures, including the Greek Orthodox patriarch, Theophilos III, and Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Roman Catholic apostolic administrator.

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9:50 a.m.

The head of the Arab League says an expected U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be an “unjustified provocation” for Arabs.

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit says the anticipated U.S. decision would constitute a “blow” to Arab-American relations and to the U.S. role as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians.

He also says it would be a “violation” of U.N. resolutions and international law.

Trump is expected to announce his decision later Wednesday.

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8:55 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she plans to call President Donald Trump to discuss his plan to relocate the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump is reportedly poised to set to start the process of shifting the embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

May tells the House of Commons that Britain’s position is that “the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital.”

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8 a.m.

The Union for Reform Judaism in the United States says President Donald Trump’s anticipated announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “ill-timed.”

The group’s leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, said in a statement that while the reform movement believes “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people” and the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, now is not the time.

Jacobs says “we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process.”

The New York City-based organization says the relocation should be done in the broader context reflecting Jerusalem’s status as a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

 

 

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Ryan

    The nations that oppose the Lord of the universe, will also oppose any and all who will recognize that Jerusalem is the Lords, and Israel is His chosen people.

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