Donald Trump plans to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will announce plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, according to senior administration officials, defying fears among counterparts in the Middle East and elsewhere that such a move would threaten efforts to broker peace.
The president is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday in the face of warnings from the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders, among others, that a decision to move the embassy would have dangerous consequences.
The senior administration officials said the president viewed the move as recognition of a reality that the city was the seat of the Israeli government. Moving the US embassy is a project that will take years, the officials added, saying that it would be part of the state department’s task to find a site.
“While President Trump recognises the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, its Supreme Court, the prime minister, and as such is the capital of Israel,” said one official.
The status of the divided city is hugely delicate and its fate is one of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israel regards Jerusalem as its undivided capital and claims sovereignty over the whole city. But the international community views East Jerusalem as occupied land and the Palestinians consider it their future capital.
Mr Trump has previously vowed to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although in June he issued a waiver to a congressional requirement to move it. In 1995 Congress mandated that the embassy be in Jerusalem, but successive US presidents have signed repeated six-month waivers postponing the move for national security reasons.
The president is not expected to set out a timetable for the move on Wednesday, and he is still expected to sign a waiver delaying it. No nation has an embassy in Jerusalem, and the prospect of the president recognising it as the capital has provoked an angry reaction from Arab and Muslim leaders. The international community’s position has long been that Jerusalem’s status should be determined by peace talks.
Mr Trump informed the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders on Tuesday of his plans to move the US mission. Rival Palestinian factions — Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas group — have called for protests if Mr Trump recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Hamas, which controls Gaza, said on its website that Ismail Haniyeh, the militant group’s leader, agreed with President Abbas that Palestinians should “mobilise” and express their rage on Wednesday.
特朗普周二告知巴勒斯坦和约旦领导人他准备搬迁美国大使馆的计划。巴勒斯坦相互敌对的派别——马哈茂德?阿巴斯(Mahmoud Abbas)领导的法塔赫(Fatah)政党和伊斯兰组织哈马斯(Hamas)——呼吁对特朗普承认耶路撒冷为以色列首都的做法提出抗议。控制加沙地带的哈马斯在其网站上表示，这个好战的组织的领导人伊斯梅尔?哈尼亚(Ismail Haniyeh)与巴勒斯坦总统阿巴斯(Abbas)已达成一致，巴勒斯坦人应在周三“动员起来”表达他们的愤怒之情。