President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday that the United States officially recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Meanwhile Moscow has repeatedly reiterated it is deeply concerned about the situation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Israel’s 1980 law declared that Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel. Israel captured the western half of Jerusalem in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and frames the day as the “reunification” of the east and west of its capital when Israel eventually occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan.
Donald Trump is expected to make the announcement as he signs a waiver that will keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months but says his administration will move the diplomatic mission to Jerusalem at some point.
A strategic goal long sought by Israel as eventually all other countries and organisations will eventually follow suit, some of whom have already started to recognise it in their output. While Israel claims Jerusalem as its seat of government, yet as it stands no foreign embassies are located there, as the rest of the international community sees this as a contentious issue that needs to be settled as part of a broader peace agreement.
The President has always said it is a matter of when, not if. The President is still considering options and we have nothing to announce, but the White House correspondents suggest nothing is certain until President Trump makes it official.
In 1980, Israel passed the “Jerusalem Law”, stating that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, which no country recognized. The UN Security Council also responded and passed a Resolution 478 in 1980 declaring the law “null and void”.
The president is deliberating how to soften the blow to the Palestinians, suggesting that he may only declare West Jerusalem as the capital as the East is claimed by the Palestinian as their territory.
Such recognition would raise deep concerns for the Palestinians and countries across the Middle East and beyond. They claim the peace negotiations are hampered by the constant ‘moving of the goal post’ without any acknowledgment or discussions with the Palestinians.
Palestinians, are enclosed in their home land by forceful occupation, led by illegal settlements and conflict. It is said that a whole generation of Palestinians have lived through a state of war and conflict and do not know what peace feels like.
The discussion or impeding announcement will stir up emotions and some commentators predicted that Christmas would be the preferred time that the Trump administration would proceed with his pledge. For the past five years Israel has always made advancements at this time of year; pushing with new settlements, bombing campaigns and raids on territories as the world is occupied with other global issues.
Vice President Mike Pence could experience that potential turmoil, as he is set to travel to Israel and Egypt in late December to discuss security concerns. Pence recently spoke on the 70th anniversary on the UN vote that created Israel. And many in the middle east and parts of the rest of the world hold the United States and Britain responsible for this ongoing conflict.
Considering that Trumps recently returned from a state visit to Saudi Arabia, is a clear indication that the US is hedging all its bets with Saudi Arabia, hoping that Saudi can act like a buffer between the west and Arab world.
Despite these obstacles, the conversation about how to make good on Trump’s campaign promise continues at the highest levels. A commitment that political speculators say was pivotal in electing Trump.
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