President Donald Trump recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Wednesday, prompting an almost universal diplomatic backlash and fears of new bloodshed in the Middle East.
Trump’s defiant move, making good on a core campaign pledge, ended seven decades of US ambiguity on the status of the Holy City, which is vociferously claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
America’s leader appeared further isolated, as allies and foes alike denounced his decision and Palestinians questioned whether their dream of statehood, as part of a peace deal brokered by Washington, was still possible.
But the US president claimed this marked the start of a “new approach” to solving the thorny Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said, urging calm and “the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.”
‘Courageous’ or ‘deplorable’?
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Trump’s “deplorable and unacceptable” move signified America’s withdrawal as a sponsor of the peace process.
Hamas — the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip — warned that Trump had opened “the gates of hell on US interests in the region.”
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