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Decision on Jerusalem is long overdue, says Trump in Cabinet meeting

07 Diciembre 2017

President Donald Trump recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday - a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East.

"We have time to get it right and see how people feel after this news is processed over the next period of time". His main peace negotiator, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, said the steps closed doors for negotiations while "Trump tonight disqualified the United States of America to play any role in any peace process".

Mr Trump, has previously spoken of his desire for a "deal of the century" that would end Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Anticipating protests, US government officials and their families have been ordered to avoid Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank.

The international community does not recognize Israel's hold on East Jerusalem, which it occupied in June 1967.

The protesters, who included students, representatives of political factions, civil society figures and scouts, waved Palestine flags and banners that called for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

A senior administration official said Trump would make the announcement - ignoring frantic warnings from US allies in the region and around the world - at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) from the White House.

The Palestinian movement Hamas - said Trump's decision opens "the gates of hell on US interests in the region". The statement also issued restrictions on U.S. government employees' personal and official travel for certain areas of Israel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to say Moscow backs a resumption of talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities, including on the status of Jerusalem, the Kremlin said.

Trump was pushed to act on the embassy as a result of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which stated that the city "should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel" and that the US embassy should be moved there.

"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. "A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states", Federica Mogherini said, speaking alongside US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels.

Senior U.S. officials said Trump asked King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Jordan's King Abdullah II to help in lobbying the Palestinians to refrain from violence and return to peace talks. "If agreed to by the two parties".

The European Union's top diplomat said on Tuesday that "any action that would undermine" peace efforts to create two separate states for the Israelis and the Palestinians "must absolutely be avoided".

Moving the embassy could therefore be a process that takes years, requiring immense planning and security considerations as the U.S. looks for a new site to host its diplomatic staff.

Deadly confrontations also took place in July this year after Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to the complex following the killing of two Israeli policemen there by Arab-Israeli gunmen.

Jordanian citizens protested the decision on Wednesday, chanting Anti-American slogans, calling the authorities to abolish peace treaties with Israel.

"Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims", Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said Monday. "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.

A waiver has been invoked by successive US presidents, postponing the move on grounds of "national security" once every six months, meaning the law has never taken effect.

Decision on Jerusalem is long overdue, says Trump in Cabinet meeting