Jerusalem mayor: Trump Jerusalem declaration sends message of US-Israel solidarity
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US, Israel gird for backlash as Trump Jerusalem move roundly condemned

Protesters demonstrate outside US missions in Turkey; Abbas says shift in US policy a 'declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process'

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

  • US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (Thomas Coex/AFP)
    US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (Thomas Coex/AFP)
  • President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
    President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
  • Palestinians sitting in a Jerusalem cafe watching an address given by US President Donald Trump about the city, December 6, 2017  (Ahmad GHARABLI/AFP)
    Palestinians sitting in a Jerusalem cafe watching an address given by US President Donald Trump about the city, December 6, 2017 (Ahmad GHARABLI/AFP)
  • A giant US flag screened alongside Israel's national flag on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, December 6, 2017. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
    A giant US flag screened alongside Israel's national flag on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, December 6, 2017. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
  • Palestinian protesters burn the US and Israeli flags in Gaza City on December 6, 2017, ahead of US President Donald Trump's speech regarding Jerusalem. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)
    Palestinian protesters burn the US and Israeli flags in Gaza City on December 6, 2017, ahead of US President Donald Trump's speech regarding Jerusalem. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)
  • Israeli flags flutter in the wind as the Dome of the Rock is seen in the background, in Jerusalem's Old City, on December 5, 2017.(AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)
    Israeli flags flutter in the wind as the Dome of the Rock is seen in the background, in Jerusalem's Old City, on December 5, 2017.(AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)
  • Palestinian protesters prepare to burn a picture of US President Donald Trump in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on December 6, 2017, ahead of US
President Donald Trump's expected announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)
    Palestinian protesters prepare to burn a picture of US President Donald Trump in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on December 6, 2017, ahead of US President Donald Trump's expected announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)
  • The US embassy in Tel Aviv, December 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
    The US embassy in Tel Aviv, December 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s events as they unfolded.

Palestinian PM: Trump’s Jerusalem plan destroying two-state solution

The Palestinian prime minister says US President Donald Trump’s expected controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is bound to “destroy the peace process and the two-state solution.”

Rami Hamdallah met with European diplomats and urged European countries to recognize a state of Palestine on the lands captured by Israel in 1967.

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized such a state in 2012, but influential countries in Western Europe have not individually recognized “Palestine.”

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as a capital. Israel’s government rejects partition of the city.

Hamdallah tells the diplomats that the expected US shift on Jerusalem “will fuel conflict and increase violence in the entire region.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is to convene advisers after Trump’s expected announcement Wednesday to decide on a way forward.

— AP

Erdogan calls Islamic summit next week on Jerusalem

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman says the Turkish leader is inviting leaders of member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to an extraordinary meeting to discuss Jerusalem’s status next week.

Ibrahim Kalin tells reporters that the meeting, planned for December 13, will give the opportunity for Muslim countries leaders to act together and coordinate following US President Donald Trump’s expected recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Kalin also said that Turkey calls on the US administration to “immediately turn away from this grave mistake that will virtually eliminate the fragile Middle East peace process.”

Erdogan said on yesterday that Jerusalem was a “red line” for Muslims and could lead Turkey to cut diplomatic ties with Israel.

— AP

Rivlin says Arab neighbors must accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

President Reuven Rivlin says Israel’s Arab neighbors needs to come to terms with the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Addressing the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic conference in the city’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, Rivlin notes that he is a seventh-generation Jerusalemite.

“We are neighbors. We knew all the time that the most important thing is Jerusalem. We are all Jersalemites,” he says, speaking in English. “But I really believe, and I know that my neighbors for the last 200 years know very well — we’re not doomed to live together, we’re destined to live together.”

“Out cousins have to realize, whether they like it or now, we’re here,” he says.

He dodges a question about the likelihood that an American recognition of Jerusalem could turn violent, merely saying that the city is the seat of Israel’s government. “My political tutor, Menachem Begin, has taught me that sometimes the obvious should be said. The obvious is that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

Towards the end of his remarks, Rivlin is asked about pardoning Yitzhak Rabin’s killer Yigal Amir. “Yigal Amir, I believe, will never be pardoned,” he responds.

— Raphael Ahren

Ahead of Trump announcement, Kremlin says issue of Jerusalem ‘not easy’

The Kremlin is also concerned about US President Donald Trump’s expected announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The move could upend decades of US policy and risk potentially violent protests in the Middle East where the Arab Muslim majority is strongly opposed to the idea.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that the “the situation is not easy.”

He says Putin discussed the issue with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas late last night and expressed his concern about “a possible deterioration.”

Peskov says, however, that the Kremlin would refrain from commenting on a decision that has not been announced yet.

— AP

Liberman says IDF prepared for Palestinian backlash to Trump announcement

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says the IDF is prepared for a potential Palestinian backlash to Trump’s expected announcement of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Let’s wait for his statement. We will postpone this discussion after his statement,” he says at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.

“As you know, Jerusalem and Israel, it’s a sensitive time and sensitive region. We are ready for all developments,” he says.

— Raphael Ahren

Iranian president says ‘will not tolerate’ Trump Jerusalem ‘violation’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasts his US counterpart Donald Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital later today, saying it will not be tolerated.

Iran “will not tolerate a violation of Islamic sanctities,” he says in a speech to officials in Tehran. “Muslims must stand united against this major plot.”

— AFP

Liberman dismisses US peace efforts, says long-term interim deal the only option

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman dismisses US efforts to achieve a full Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, saying that at present, a long-term interim agreement is the only possible way forward.

“We really appreciate all American efforts to bring resolution to us and the Palestinians. But with all due respect to the US and their investments and efforts, there’s no alternative to direct talks between the two sides,” he says at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.

“Everybody who speaks about final-status agreement doesn’t understand reality. What is possible to achieve is a long-term interim agreement, not more,” he says

What is crucial is first of all to stop incitement and to upgrade the Palestinian economy,” Liberman adds.

— Raphael Ahren

Ahead of Jerusalem announcement, Tillerson says Trump sees ‘opportunity’ for Mideast peace

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration continues to believe there’s “a very good opportunity” to achieve Middle East peace despite US President Donald Trump’s impending moves on Jerusalem.

Tillerson is speaking in Brussels ahead of Trump’s announcement that he’s declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Tillerson says he doesn’t want to discuss any decision before Trump announces it himself. But he says people should “listen carefully” to Trump’s speech in its entirety.

Tillerson says Trump is “very committed” to the peace process. He says the team led by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is working “very diligently” to achieve it.

— AP

Pakistan ruling party, Taliban leader condemn Trump over Jerusalem

Pakistan’s ruling party criticizes US President Donald Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying it will ignite violence in the world.

Raja Zafarul Haq, chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League party, urges speedy pressure on Trump to “refrain from complicating the Palestine issue instead taking steps to resolve it.”

Firebrand cleric Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban,” describes Trump as an “evil man” and urges the Muslim world to stop the US leader from insulting Palestinians.

The suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, Hafiz Saeed, recently released from house arrest in Pakistan, also condemns Trump’s planned announcement.

— AP

Palestinian official calls to end ‘absurd’ talks with Israel over change in Jerusalem status quo

Former senior Fatah party official Mohammed Dahlan calls for Palestinians to end its “absurd” US-led negotiations with Israel as the status quo of Jerusalem is expected to change with US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“I call for withdrawal from the absurd and endless negotiations with Israel after the principle of inviolability of the status of Jerusalem has been breached,” he posts on Twitter.

“I call for ending all the forms of coordination, especially security coordination, with Israel and USA,” Dahlan says.

UK’s May to speak to Trump over Jerusalem announcement

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will speak with US President Donald Trump over his expected decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“I’m intending to speak to President Trump about this matter,” May says according to Reuters. “The status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states,” May reportedly says.

Palestinians in Gaza burn US, Israeli flags to protest Trump announcement

Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza are rallying against US President Donald Trump’s imminent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his plan to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

The demonstration on the streets of Gaza City was organized by various Palestinian factions and militant groups, which called for Palestinian unity in response to Trump’s expected announcement.

The protesters burned American and Israeli flags.

They also waved Palestinian flags and banners proclaiming Jerusalem as “our eternal capital” and calling it a “red line.”

Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza, also called for more protests over the coming days.

Hamas official Salah Bardawil says the Palestinians were “on a dangerous crossroad today; we either remain or perish.” He added that “Trump or anyone thinking that our people, nation and resistance are unable to push back his plans is wrong.”

Hamas’ politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh tells Al-Jazeera TV that “our Palestinian people will have a suitable response. As a people, we cannot accept this American pattern.”

— with AP

Gaza boy succumbs to injuries sustained in 2014 war — reports

A 4-year-old Palestinian boy in Gaza reportedly succumbs to injuries he sustained in Israel’s 2014 war with the Hamas terrorist group.

According to Palestinian news reports, Muhammad Saleh Haddaf was bedridden since an August 8, 2014, strike on his home in Khan Younis that killed four of his family members. He was a year old at the time of the strike.

Hamas says Palestinians united in opposition to Trump Jerusalem announcement

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agrees with him on a united Palestinian opposition to the possible move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We agreed that the Palestinian masses, at home or abroad, today and every day onward, will take to the streets to express its anger and its hold on Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine,” he says in an interview on Al Jazeera.

Haniyeh says Abbas made the agreement during phone calls several days ago.

Abbas’s Fatah party has not yet declared protests, but has told Palestinians to be ready for developments should US President Trump declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

— Dov Lieber

Jerusalem church leaders warn Trump of ‘irreparable harm’

Jerusalem church leaders warn US President Donald Trump that changing the status of Jerusalem will case “irreparable harm” to the holy city and its residents.

In a letter signed by 12 Orthodox patriarchs as well as the city’s Lutheran and Episcopalian bishops, local church leaders tell the US president that declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel “will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering.”

“Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm,” the letter says. “We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work towards negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfill its destiny.

“We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all,” the patriarchs say.

In joint remarks with Jordan king, Erdogan warns embassy move will ‘benefit terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Jordan’s King Abdullah II reiterate warnings against Trump’s expected announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a joint press conference in Ankara, Erdogan says the move will “only benefit terrorist organizations,” and that “nobody has the right to play with the fate of billions of people out of personal considerations.”

Abdullah says that it’s the Palestinians’ right to “establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” underscoring that “there is no other solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict except the two-state solution.”

Fatah calls for UN action against Washington over Trump Jerusalem move

Fatah spokesperson Nasser al-Qidwe calls for diplomatic action at the United Nations against the US over President Donald Trump’s expected decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“There should be a complaint filed to the Security Council on the dangerous violations committed by the United States in terms of Security Council resolutions,” Qidwe tells reporters in Ramallah.

He says the resolution should reject the change in status quo of the city, demand the US walk back the announcement, and require the US to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions.

— Dov Lieber

Abbas’s Fatah says protests against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem should be nonviolent

A spokesperson for PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party calls for nonviolent protests against US President Donald Trump’s expected announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Speaking in English at a press conference in Ramallah, Nasser al-Qidwe says protests expressing Palestinian anger over the measure should be done “in a peaceful and an unarmed sustainable way so that would lead to serving the Palestinian national cause in this regard.”

— Dov Lieber

Arab league chief decries recognizing Jerusalem as ‘unjustified provocation’ for Arabs

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

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

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

Trump is expected to announce his decision later today.

— AP

EU’s Mogherini praises Abbas for calling for nonviolent protests

The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini reassures Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the 28-nation bloc does not support US President Donald Trump in his expected change in longstanding US policy by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Mogherini tells the PA leader of the “firm position” of EU that the issue of Jerusalem should be determined in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, a statement from Mogherini’s office says.

The top EU diplomat also reiterates support for a two-state solution and welcomes the commitment by Abbas to call for nonviolent protests in the wake of Trump’s announcement.

Court orders PA pay to family of terror victim NIS 3 million

The High Court of Justice orders the Palestinian Authority to pay compensation to the family of an Israeli man who was killed in a terror attack in 2003.

The court orders the PA to pay Amos (Amit) Mantin’s family NIS 3 million ($850,000) for the shooting attack in the Arab Israeli town of Baqa al-Gharbiya.

After he was apprehended by Israeli authorities, the 15-year-old gunman told investigators that he had crossed into Israel after receiving weapons and training at a PA-run refugee camp in Jericho.

6 women claim Weinstein cover-up was racketeering

Six women file a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, seeking to represent a class of “dozens, if not hundreds” of women who say they were assaulted by the movie mogul.

The lawsuit filed at a federal court in New York claims that his actions to cover up the assaults amounted to civil racketeering.

The lawsuit claims that a coalition of companies and people became part of the growing “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” and that they worked with Weinstein to conceal his widespread sexual harassment and assaults.

“The Weinstein Sexual Enterprise had many participants, grew over time as the obfuscation of Weinstein’s conduct became more difficult to conceal,” the suit says.

A lawyer for Weinstein declined comment.

According to the lawsuit, actresses and other women in the film industry were lured to industry events, hotel rooms, Weinstein’s home, office meetings or auditions under the pretense that they were to discuss a project.

At least 75 women have come forward in the media to detail accounts of assault, harassment and inappropriate conduct by Weinstein.

— AP

Abbas to deliver televised remarks after Trump speech

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will deliver televised remarks after US President Donald Trump is expected declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel in a highly anticipated speech.

According to senior Palestinian officials, Abbas will “first listen to Trump’s speech and then respond,” Reuters reported.

Trump’s expected announcement brought warnings from leaders in the Mideast and elsewhere that the move could cause violent protests and complicate Mideast peace efforts.

Jerusalem’s Old City walls to be lit up with colors of the US flag after Trump speech

The walls of Jerusalem’s Old City will be lit up with the colors of the American flag as a”token of appreciation” to US President Donald Trump for his expected announcement declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

In a statement, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat lauds the “historic declaration that sends a clear message to the entire world that the US stands with the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Jerusalem.”

Trump says Jerusalem move is ‘long overdue’

Just ahead of a momentous announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US President Donald Trump says that the move is “long overdue.”

“Many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn’t do it, whether it’s courage or they changed their mind, I can’t tell you,” Trump says, portraying himself as daring to fulfill a promise that previous presidents have shied away from.

“I think it’s long overdue,” he says.

— AFP

Bolivia seeks emergency Security Council talks on Jerusalem

Bolivia says it will seek an emergency open-door meeting of the UN Security Council if US President Donald Trump moves forward with plans to transfer the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“If this decision is taken, it’s a threat not just to the peace process, but also it’s a threat to international peace and security,” says envoy Sacha Soliz of Bolivia, which holds a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the council.

“It would be a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council.”

— AFP

Trump set to deliver speech, WH dismisses peace talks warnings

Trump is about to deliver his long-awaited policy address on Jerusalem from the White House, slated to begin at 8 p.m. Israel time.

Ahead of the speech, a senior administration source dismisses warnings that the recognition will harm peace efforts, saying nothing in the speech will prevent a peace deal, Israel’s Hadashot news reports.

State Department asks diplomats to defer travel to Israel, West Bank

The US State Department is urging all diplomatic staff to defer non-essential travel to Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank until December 20, according to Reuters.

The cable comes just ahead of a highly anticipated announcement by US President Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

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

Trump will likely sign declaration after speech

Trump will be giving his address in the festively decorated White House Diplomatic reception room, where he also made his announcement in October on decertifying Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal.

There is a desk and chair set up next to the podium, indicating Trump may pose for a photo op to sign the declaration.

Trump begins speech, says old ways ‘failed’

Trump begins speaking and gets right into the heart of the matter. He says he came into office with open eyes.

“We cannot come into office making the same failed assumptions as in the past.”

“My announcement marks a new approach,” he says.

Waivers brought us no closer to peace, Trump says

Trump speaks about the Jerusalem Embassy Act, noting that everybody else waived moving the US diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and saying they may have lacked courage.

“After two decades of waivers, we are no closer” to a peace deal he says, calling it “folly to assume” doing the same will make things better.

Trump announces Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Trump announces that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, saying the move is “long overdue.”

He calls acknowledging the fact “necessary for achieving peace.”

“Today Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Knesset and well as the Supreme Court,” he says, listing a series of official bodies situated there.

He adds that US officials have for decades met Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as he did.

Recognizing Jerusalem acknowledges the obvious, Trump says

Trump says the city is important to Jews, Christians and Muslims, but notes that his predecessors declined to acknowledge any capital at all.

“But today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”

He calls it the “right thing to do.”

Trump says embassy will move, commits to two states if both sides agree

Trump says he directed the State Department to begin working on moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

He clarifies that this move is not meant to deviate from “our lasting commitment” to a lasting peace agreement.

“We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the final boundaries or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved,” he says.

He says the US is committed to facilitating an agreement “acceptable to both sides.”

Trump adds that the US “would support a two-state solution, if agreed to by both sides.”

Trump calls for status quo on Temple Mount

Trump calls for both sides to avoid violence and maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount, using flowery language to describe the US commitment to peace.

He previews Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Israel, saying he will discuss the fight against radicalism.

“It is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.”

“Let us rethink old assumptions,” he says.

He concludes by asking leaders in the region “to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.”

Trump signs declaration on recognizing Jerusalem

Trump walks over to a table and signs a document in front of the cameras. The document is apparently a proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He holds it up for all to see.

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Editor’s note: A previous version of this post erroneously indicated that Trump had signed the six-month waiver delaying the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

White House releases official proclamation of Jerusalem as capital

The White House releases an official declaration on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is it in full:

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S PROCLAMATION ON JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

“My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” – President Donald J. Trump

RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM: President Donald J. Trump is following through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the US Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Today, December 6, 2017, President Trump recognized Jerusalem, the ancient capital of the Jewish people, as the capital of the State of Israel.
In taking this action, President Trump fulfilled a major campaign promise of his and many previous Presidential candidates.

The Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our Congressional and international partners on this issue.

President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995. This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.
President Trump has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Departments and Agencies have implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the region.

STATUS OF JERUSALEM: President Trump recognizes that specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem is highly sensitive and subject to final status negotiations.

President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister.

President Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.

President Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.

COMMITTED TO THE PEACE PROCESS: President Trump is committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

President Trump remains committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and he is optimistic that peace can be achieved.

Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not helped achieve peace over the past two decades.

President Trump is prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, if agreed to by the parties.

Netanyahu says Israel ‘profoundly grateful’ for Trump recognition of Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises US President Donald Trump after he officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, upending longstanding US policy.

“This is a historic day,” Netanyahu says in a video message. “We’re profoundly grateful for the president for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here.”

Netanyahu says the move reflects Trump’s “commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace.”

He says the announcement is “an important step towards peace,” and urged other nations to make similar policy changes.”

Netanyahu also underscores that there will be no change to the status quo on the holy sites in Jerusalem, saying Israel “will always ensure freedom of worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

“President Trump, thank you for today’s historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” the prime minister says. “The Jewish people and the Jewish state will be forever grateful. This has been our goal from Israel’s first day.”

Ankara condemns Trump move on Jerusalem

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blasts Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US Administration declaring that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it will be moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” he writes on twitter. “This decision is against international law and relevant UN Resolutions.”

Jerusalem mayor: Trump Jerusalem declaration sends message of US-Israel solidarity

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat praises US President Donald Trump for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the “historic declaration sends a clear message to the entire world that the US stands alongside the Jewish people and Israel.”

Rivlin says US recognition of Jerusalem as capital a ‘beautiful gift’

President Reuven Rivlin thanks US President Donald Trump for the “beautiful gift” of recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

There is no more fitting or beautiful gift, as we approach 70 years of the State of Israel’s independence,” he says in a tweet. “Jerusalem is not, and never will be, an obstacle to peace for those who want peace.

UN chief says Jerusalem should serve as capital for 2 states

Shortly after Trump’s speech announcing a shift in US policy regarding Jerusalem, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the status of the holy city must be determined in peace negotiations.

“From day one as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” he says. “Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.”

Guterres says there is “no alternative to the two-state solution” and reiterates that Jerusalem should serve as the capital for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Security minister: We are not afraid of threats

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, speaking from Brussels where he is currently visiting, responds to threats of violence following US President Donald Trump’s announcement on his plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“We are not afraid of threats,” Erdan says. “Our security forces and the Israel Police are prepared for any possible occurrence.”

— Raoul Wootliff

Labor leader ‘glad’ US recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay says he is “glad” that Trump has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Jerusalem has been a symbol for the Jewish people for thousands of years,” he says in a statement

“After 70 years of existence of the State of Israel, I am glad that our important friend, the United States, recognizes Jerusalem as our capital and is preparing to transfer the embassy,” he says.

Hamas says Trump’s Jerusalem decision opens ‘gates of hell’

Hamas says US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would “open the gates of hell.”

“This decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region,” Ismail Radwan, an official with the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, tells journalists after Trump’s announcement.

He calls on Arab and Islamic states to “cut off economic and political ties with the US embassy and expel American ambassadors to cripple” this decision.

— AFP

Bennett praises Trump for not caving to ‘huge pressures’ on Jerusalem

Education Minister Naftali Bennett welcomes Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, calling it “a shiny day for the Jewish people.”

Today you made history,” he says in a statement, praising the US leader for not caving to “huge pressures from within.”

“Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for over 3,000 years, and will remain so for eternity,” Bennett says. “President Trump and the great people of the United States, I want to thank you.”

Top Palestinian negotiator: Trump move ‘disqualifies’ US from peace process

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has “disqualified the United States of America to play any role in any peace process.”

He says the move is in “total contradiction of agreements signed between Palestinians and Israelis,” and various UN resolutions.

Israel UN envoy: Trump Jerusalem decision ‘rights a historic wrong’

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon welcomes Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem as “right[ing] a historic wrong.”

“We welcome this courageous decision by President Trump. In 1948, President Truman was the first world leader to recognize the State of Israel and today President Trump righted a historic wrong by recognizing Jerusalem as our capital,” Danon says in a statement.

“Now is the time for all UN member states to follow the lead of our American friends and recognize our ancient capital of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,” he adds.

France’s Macron says Trump’s Jerusalem move ‘regrettable’

French President Emmanuel Macron brands Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “regrettable,” calling for efforts to “avoid violence at all costs.”

Addressing a press conference during a state visit to Algeria, Macron affirms “the attachment of France and Europe to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within internationally recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states.”

— AFP

Sweden FM says Trump move on Jerusalem ‘jeopardizes peace and stability’

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom comes out against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Vital to protect Jerusalem’s special status as established by the UN and respect UNSC resolutions,” she posts on Twitter.

“Clear EU position on Jerusalem as a final status issue and future capital for two states. Unilateral action on Jerusalem jeopardizes peace and stability in region and beyond.”

Peace Now says Trump announcement ‘bad news for Israel’

The Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now considers Trump’s Wednesday declaration “a unilateral move that harms the prospects for peace.”

“It would have been expected from a true friend of Israel to act in accordance with Israeli interests, which are an agreement based on a two-state solution and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the Palestinian neighborhoods (in East Jerusalem) as the capital of the Palestinian state,” the group says in a statement.

The group says Trump “intensified the international controversy and condemnation around Jerusalem and it is doubtful whether he will be able to serve as an honest mediator between the sides.”

“If these are the consequences of unilateral recognition of Jerusalem, this is bad news for the State of Israel and a cause for celebration in the extreme right which aspires to drag Israel into a dangerous messianic mess,” Peace Now says.

UK’s Corbyn calls Trump announcement ‘reckless threat to peace’

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of UK’s Labour Party, says Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “is a reckless threat to peace.”

The UK government “must condemn this dangerous act and work for a just and viable settlement of the conflict,” he tweets.

Senior Democrat comes about against Trump announcement

US Congressman Gerry Connolly, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says Trump abandoned the US’s commitment to peace by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

“When President Jimmy Carter sat down at the negotiating table with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in 1978, he reiterated that Jerusalem’s final status would not be decided unilaterally,” the Democratic lawmaker says in a statement.

“Every successive US administration since then has upheld that approach. With President Trump’s announcement today, he has abandoned that commitment and it is incumbent on his administration to explain to the world how this decision brings us closer to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Jerusalem hospital prepares for violence following Trump announcement

Leading Jerusalem hospital Shaare Zedek tells emergency room staff to prepare for possible violence that could break out following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

All staff are being asked to be “on call” for the next three days in anticipation of increased casualties in clashes in and around Jerusalem, The Times of Israel has learned.

Abbas says Trump decision rewards Israel for ‘apartheid and ethnic cleansing’

PA President Mahmoud Abbas says US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital rewards Israeli policies that violate international law.

“These measures represent a reward to Israel for denying agreements and defying international legitimacy and encourages it to continue the policy of occupation, settlement, apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” he says in televised remarks from Ramallah.

He says Trump’s decision “is a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process.”

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

Jordan accuses Trump of violating international law on Jerusalem

Jordan condemns US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as amounting to a violation of international law and the UN charter.

“The decision of the American president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the transfer of the US embassy to this city constitutes a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter,” says government spokesman Mohammed Momani.

— AFP

Egypt slams Trump, worries about peace process

Egypt denounces US 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 US move on the stability of the region and about its “extremely negative” impact on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

— AP

Tillerson says embassy move to Jerusalem to begin ‘immediately’

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the State Department will “immediately” implement a plan to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem following Trump’s declaration.

“We have consulted with many friends, partners and allies in advance of the President making his decision. We firmly believe there is an opportunity for a lasting peace,” he says in a statement.

“The State Department will immediately begin the process to implement this decision by starting the preparations to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Tillerson says.

Hundreds demonstrate outside US missions in Turkey, Jordan braces for protests

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

Pictures show people waving Palestinian and Turkish flags at the demonstrations.

In Jordan, the US Embassy says it is suspending service and limiting movement of diplomats and their families.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson fearing protests outside US missions, says the US has “implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions.”

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Jerusalem mayor: Trump Jerusalem declaration sends message of US-Israel solidarity

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat praises US President Donald Trump for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the “historic declaration sends a clear message to the entire world that the US stands alongside the Jewish people and Israel.”