White House officials: Jerusalem decision hurts peace process

The hysteria surrounding the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is based on the fact that too much store is laid on Donald Trump baiting not enough attention is paid to what he said

The hysteria surrounding the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is based on the fact that too much store is laid on Donald Trump baiting not enough attention is paid to what he said

President Donald Trump's decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has temporarily derailed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, two senior White House officials acknowledged after Trump's speech.

Worried that the recrimination could disrupt the reconciliation efforts, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah and other Fatah delegates arrived in Gaza on Thursday to meet Hamas.

"This is a long overdue step in the peace process and a step towards a lasting agreement". While Israel took over East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war and declared the whole city as its eternal indivisible capital in 1980, it has not been recognised by the international community. But Trump's announcement on Jerusalem threatens to scotch the fledgling effort. "Today, I am delivering". Some 200,000 Jewish Israelis have moved to the eastern side of the city and a small number of Jewish nationalists have established residence within traditionally Arab neighborhoods. "It is also the right thing to do".

Mohamed Hadid isn't happy about President Trump's decision to recognize a new capital in Israel. and he's hoping violence won't be an outcome. All of the people interviewed for this story asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations or how top officials advised the president. Instead, Trump stressed that he directed the State Department begin the process of moving the embassy as required by U.S. law, however many years that might take.

Palestinians say Trump's move will mean the "kiss of death" to the two-state solution. At a White House dinner in the spring, Adelson made the issue a main topic, one person said. Jerusalem is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. A Saudi-sponsored Arab peace initiative still on the table calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem as part of a far-reaching deal.

Otherwise, the political benefits for him are unclear.

"No, this is important to do now", Trump said, according to someone who attended the event.

Pope Francis called for Jerusalem's status quo to be respected, saying new tension would further inflame world conflicts.

Several hundred protesters gathered outside the US consulate in Istanbul over Trump's decision.

The impact of the decision - and incentives for Palestinians to continue negotiations - will become clearer when Kushner's team formally unveils an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan next year, the officials said.

Seeking to soften the blow of his announcement to the Palestinians, he insisted he 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". He said he intends "to do everything in my power to help forge" a peace agreement. "There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement - but we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation", Trump said. The officials declined to describe Kushner and Greenblatt's own advice to Trump. His predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama, had consistently put off that decision to avoid inflaming tensions in the Middle East. Recognizing the religious sensitivities, the United Nations proposed a partition plan in 1947 that created two separate states, but called for Jerusalem to be under international control.

Trump's decision has drawn sharp criticism, with the significant exception of Israel. Those officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Palestine Liberation Organisation Secretary General Saeb Erekat also slammed the move, saying "the destiny of Jerusalem is not determined by the US president".

Most Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain.

President Trump said Dec. 6 that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there.

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