US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the US will officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Many states are opposed to this decision, which questions the future of Palestinian statehood.
„It’s time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,“ Trump said at a press conference in the White House.
Trump said his announcement is the „start of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians“. He was almost cynical:
„I’m ordering the State Department to move the U. S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a great homage to peace.“
Prior to the announcement, most members of the international community warned Trump of this move and stressed that it would be an obstacle to a fragile peace process. Heads of state and government from Turkey, the EU, Great Britain, France and the Arab League called on the US to abide by international law and numerous United Nations resolutions.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented, Jerusalem is the „red line“ for the Muslim world. The city is home to the third most sacred place of Islam, the holiest ground of Judaism and important Christian sites.
During the announcement, Trump said he did not want to follow the example of the former US president, who refused to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Trump claimed that the U. S. would „deeply support the conclusion of a peace agreement acceptable to both sides“ and „support a two-state solution if both sides agreed“.
After the announcement, Turkey condemned the „irresponsible statement of the US government“. Ankara pointed out that it will have „negative reflections on peace and stability in the region and that there is a risk of completely destroying the ground for peace“.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed that „there is no alternative to the two-state solution“, which obviously undermines the US. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) of President Mahmoud Abbas said that the recognition of Jerusalem by Trump as Israeli capital has destroyed the two-state solution.
French President Emmanuel Macron and the Egyptian Foreign Ministry also rejected the decision.
The Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. East Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War.