World Leaders Condemn Trump Jerusalem Move, Warn of Violence

World Leaders Condemn Trump Jerusalem Move, Warn of Violence

World Leaders Condemn Trump Jerusalem Move, Warn of Violence

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday, upending decades of careful U.S. policy and ignoring dire warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is fraught with religious and political implications because the eastern sector of the city - home to some of the holiest ancient sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam - is also claimed by Palestinians as the capital of a future state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a pre-recorded video message that it was "an important step towards peace" and it was "our goal from Israel's first day".

Most of the global community does not formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, insisting the issue can only be resolved in negotiations - a point reiterated by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the wake of Trump's decision. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia.

"We call upon the US Administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem", it said.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday his official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, and instructed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the main pan-Islamic body, in Istanbul next week to display joint action over Jerusalem. Critics say Trump's approach could extinguish his own efforts to broker Middle East peace while igniting the flames of conflict in a region already reeling from crises in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar. "But, you know, we view the reports that we have heard with concern because we think that Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians", he said.

From the Middle East to Europe and beyond, leaders cautioned Mr Trump that any sudden change on an issue as sensitive as Jerusalem not only risks blowing up the new Arab-Israeli peace initiative led by Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, but could lead to new violence in the region.

The Palestinian movement Hamas - said Trump's decision opens "the gates of hell on USA interests in the region".

Qatari Foreign Minister said Trump's decision is a "dangerous escalation and death sentence for all who seek peace", Al Jazeera reported.

The Palestinian armed Islamist movement Hamas has threatened to launch a new "intifada", or uprising.

East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-day War, was not part of the original lines drawn for Israel in 1949.

"(The move) is the culmination of the crime of usurping Palestine and displacing the Palestinian people", said the Syrian state news agency SANA, quoting a foreign ministry source.

Several hundred protesters gathered outside the USA consulate in Istanbul, a Reuters cameraman at the scene said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he viewed reports that the United States will move its embassy to Jerusalem "with concern". Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier that the United States was trying to destabilize the region and start a war to protect Israel's security. "We must avoid at all costs avoid violence and foster dialogue".

Trump further stated that the United States was not taking a position on any "final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders".

Guterres added that he had "consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures". "I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations".

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