President Donald Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced his intentions to relocate the American embassy to the city from Tel Aviv.
What did Trump say?
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said alongside Vice President Mike Pence during remarks at the White House.
Trump touted his decision as the fulfillment of a campaign promise.
— CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2017
“I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interest of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said.
Trump said he has directed the State Department to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.
JUST IN: Pres. Trump initiates process to move U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: “A new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.” https://t.co/EKvvxWDjvT pic.twitter.com/VgugyLBFAx
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2017
He said that when it is completed, the new embassy “will be a magnificent tribute to peace.”
Supporters of the move say it should be American policy to recognize an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while opponents argue the move could hinder peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as a capital of a Palestinian state.
Did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu respond?
In a video message, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for his “historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
“The Jewish people and the Jewish state will be forever grateful,” he said.
This is a historic day. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Thank you, @realDonaldTrump! 🇮🇱🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/mWCUpUMpiC
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 6, 2017
“This decision reflects the president’s commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and toward advancing peace,” Netanyahu said. “The president’s decision is an important step toward peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.”
Netanyahu called on “all countries that seek peace” to do the same as the United States.
The city of Tel Aviv also congratulated Jerusalem on Twitter.
— Tel Aviv (@TelAviv) December 6, 2017
What did the Palestinian Authority say about the decision?
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, condemned Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, according to the BBC.
He said there will be “dangerous consequences” to the decision.
US ‘no longer peace broker’ – Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, condemns Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital https://t.co/m1ksalIQI9 pic.twitter.com/WXBEGKeGGZ
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 6, 2017