World rejects Trump's Jerusalem decision

Author
Reuters,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Thursday, 7 December 2017, 11:14AM

Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East have condemned the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region.

The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at US President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Major US allies came out against Trump's reversal of decades of US and international policy on Jerusalem.

READ MORE: US loses credibility over Jerusalem announcement

France rejected the "unilateral" decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem's status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

Israel, by contrast, applauded Trump's move. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a pre-recorded video message on Wednesday that it was "an important step towards peace" and it was "our goal from Israel's first day".

He added that any peace deal with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel's capital and he urged other countries to follow Trump's example.

Trump reversed decades of US policy in recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks creating aggravating conflict in a chronically volatile Middle East.

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat and Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett react to Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine" and that Trump's move was "tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator".

The last round of fitful peace negotiations brokered by Washington collapsed in 2014.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which had dominated Gaza since soon after Israel ended a 38-year occupation of it in 2005, said Trump had committed a "flagrant aggression against the Palestinian people". Hamas urged Arabs and Muslims to "undermine US interests in the region" and to "shun Israel".

READ MORE: Trump declares Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Egypt, which forged the first Arab peace deal with Israel in 1979, rejected Trump's decision and said it did not change Jerusalem's disputed legal status.

Jordan, the second Arab state to make peace with Israel, in 1994, said Trump's action was "legally null" because it consolidated Israel's occupation of the eastern sector of the contested city in the 1967 Middle East war.

Iran "seriously condemns" Trump's move as it violates UN resolutions on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, state media said. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier that the US was trying to destabilise the region and start a war to protect Israel's security.

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