Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke with decades of US and international policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept of a “two-state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians, provided both sides agree to it.
TRT World‘s Francis Collings spoke to people in Jerusalem to get their view on what they think will be the impact of Trump’s decision.
After making the announcement to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump tweeted:
Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestine Liberation Organisation said Trump has destroyed the two-state solution, warning the United States could no longer hope to be a peace broker.
The Palestinian movement Hamas – said Trump’s decision opens “the gates of hell on US interests in the region.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on as “historic” and a “courageous and just decision”.
Netanyahu also pledged no change to the status quo at Jerusalem’s highly sensitive holy sites in the city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there was no alternative to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and that Jerusalem was a final-status issue that should be resolved through direct talks.
“I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” Guterres said.
The United Nations Security Council is likely to meet on Friday at the request of eight states on the 15-member body over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, diplomats said on Wednesday.
The request for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to publicly brief the Security Council meeting was made by France, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay, said diplomats.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Trump’s decision is declared null and void for Turkey.
“This decision is a death blow to Palestine-Israel peace efforts and the Middle East Peace Process, a can of worms has been opened by this decision.”
He added that the decision is an example of irresponsibility that was made by political anxiety concerns.
“I strongly condemn those who took this decision. As always, respecting all of the sacred sites of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque has vital importance.”
Yilidirim announced that Turkey, as term President of the OIC, will hold a special summit on December 13 where the matter will top the agenda.
“The issue will be discussed with the leaders of Islamic world and what counter steps need to be taken will also be decided.”
Turkey’s foreign minister also responded to the Trump’s move, calling it irresponsible and illegal.
“We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US administration… the decision is against international law and relevant UN resolutions,” Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted.
Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also took to Twitter to decry Trump’s move.
Contrary to what @realDonaldTrump claims, this undermines any hope left for peace.
The whole world must reject this provocative move and stand by international agreements and UN decisions.
Saudi Arabia slammed Trump’s decision, calling it “irresponsible.”
“The kingdom expresses great regret over the US president’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The kingdom has already warned of the serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move,” the royal court was quoted as saying.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement,” the spokesman said.
“We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”
Leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, called Trump’s decision “a reckless threat to peace”.
Germany does not support the Trump administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.
“The German government does not support this position, because the status of Jerusalem is to be resolved in the framework of a two-state solution,” she was quoted as saying in a tweet by the government spokesman.
Jordan condemned the US President’s move as amounting to a violation of international law and the UN charter.
“The decision of the American president to recognise 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,” said government spokesman Mohammed Momani.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi wrote on Twitter:
Iran’s foreign ministry in a statement said the US action will “incite Muslims and inflame a new intifada and encourage extremism and violent behavior for which the responsibility will lie with (the United States) and the Zionist regime (Israel)”.
Egypt denounced Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
It added that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital did not change the city’s legal status.
Lebanese President Aoun said Trump’s decision threatens peace process and stability of the region.
Syrian Regime Leader, Bashar Al Assad said the Palestinian cause will stay alive among Arabs until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Qatari Foreign Minister said Trump’s decision is a “dangerous escalation and death sentence for all who seek peace”, Al Jazeera reported.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not support Trump’s “unilateral” decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and called for calm across the region.
“This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the UN Security Council,” Macron told reporters at a news conference in Algiers.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called on Muslims everywhere to strongly oppose the US move.
“I call on all Muslims across the world to let your voices be heard, make it clear that we strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for all time,” Najib said in his speech at an annual gathering of the ruling party in Kuala Lumpur.