Despite warnings of regional unrest over any such move, the decision fulfills a campaign promise and appeals to Donald Trump’s right-wing base.
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he added.
“It is also the right thing to do.”
President Trump said the US would support a two-state solution – shorthand for a final settlement that would see the creation of an independent Palestinian state within pre-1967 ceasefire lines in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, living peacefully alongside Israel – “if agreed to by both sides”.
He also refrained from using Israel’s description of Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided capital”. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of any future Palestinian state.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was profoundly grateful to President Trump, who had “bound himself forever with the history of the capital”.
The prime minister also said Israel was “in touch with other countries to follow suit. I have no doubt other embassies will move to Jerusalem – the time has come”. He did not name any of these countries, although the Philippines and the Czech Republic have been mentioned in Israeli media.
The mood has been very different on the Palestinian side.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has called for a “day of rage” on December 8 and said it should “be the first day of the intifada against the occupier”.
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, the president added.
“It is also the right thing to do.”
Donald Trump said the US still supported a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if approved by both sides, which would essentially see the creation of an independent Palestinian state living alongside Israel.
Following the announcement, PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was profoundly grateful, tweeting: “Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia.”
On December 6, Benjamin Netanyahu went further, saying President Trump “bound himself forever with the history of the capital”, and predicting that many other countries would follow Washington’s example.
The Republican Jewish Coalition thanked President Trump in a New York Times add.
The mood was very different on the Palestinian side, with a day of strikes and protests planned.
The leader of Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, called for a new intifada, or uprising, saying it was the only way to “confront” Israel and the US.
President Mahmoud Abbas called President Trump’s announcement “deplorable” and said Jerusalem was the “eternal capital of the state of Palestine”.
Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas’s party, said it would push for a UN resolution requesting that Washington “rescind its decision” and disqualifying the US as a co-sponsor of the peace process.
The Arab and the wider Muslim world – including a number of US allies – condemned Donald Trump’s announcement.
Demonstrations have already taken place outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Saudi royal court said: “The US move represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called on Muslims everywhere to “make it clear that we strongly oppose” the US move.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was “a moment of great anxiety”. He said “there is no alternative to the two-state solution”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron both said their countries did not support the move while EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini voiced “serious concern”.
Donald Trump’s announcement puts the US at odds with the rest of the international community’s view on Jerusalem’s status.
The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognized internationally, and all countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but before now it has not been internationally recognized as part of Israel.
President Barack Obama has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a historical visit to the West Bank.
Barack Obama has said that the US is “deeply committed” to creating a sovereign state of Palestine.
Speaking after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Barack Obama said Israeli settlement activity was not “appropriate for peace”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry would, the president added, devote time and energy trying to bring the two sides closer.
Mahmoud Abbas said the two men had held “good and useful” talks in Ramallah.
However, Palestinian expectations of Barack Obama’s visit have been low, analysts say.
President Barack Obama has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a historical visit to the West Bank
On his first visit to Israel as US president on Wednesday, Barack Obama vowed strong support for the country.
At talks on Wednesday, Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict
Speaking in Jerusalem, President Barack Obama said a central element of securing a lasting peace in the Middle East “must be a strong and secure Jewish state where its security concerns are met, alongside a sovereign and independent Palestinian state”.
Two rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Thursday morning, Israeli officials say, but there were no reports of anyone being hurt. A further two rockets fired from Gaza reportedly fell inside Gaza itself.
Mahmoud Abbas condemned “violence against civilians, whatever its source, including the firing of rockets”, according to a Palestinian spokesperson.
[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]Israel new air strikes came hours after gunmen armed with heavy weapons and explosives killed at least 7 people in southern Israel.
Israel launches new air strikes on Gaza today after accusing militants in the Palestinian territory for deadly attacks near Eilat on Thursday before noon.
According to the militants, 5 Palestinians were killed in today strikes.
Israel launches new air strikes on Gaza today after accusing militants in the Palestinian territory for deadly attacks near Eilat on Thursday before noon
Earlier today, at least 7 people died when squads of gunmen armed with heavy weapons and explosives came to southern Israel from Egypt and attacked buses, cars and an army patrol, officials said.
The Israel’s government immediately reacted to Gaza attacks, spokesman Mark Regev saying:
“This is specific information.”
“This is not an assessment. This is not an estimate. This is very, very precise information that they came out of Gaza. We have no doubt.”
But he did not provide further details.
A spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, Taher Nunu denied that the militants were involved:
“Gaza has nothing to do with these attacks in Eilat.”
The attacks in Israel began around midday local time and lasted for about 3 hours.[googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”dreapta”]
Attackers targeted a packed bus driving along a road about 10 miles north of the Red Sea resort, close to the border crossing into Sinai. Within one hour, the attackers opened fire on another bus and two civilian vehicles on the same road, and an army vehicle rushing to the area drove over an explosive device, the military said in a statement.
Local TV footage showed a bus pulled off the road with its door and windows shattered, and soldiers were patrolling the area on foot. Inside the bus, seats were stained with blood, and luggage littered the aisle.
“We heard a shot and saw a window explode. I didn’t really understand what was happening at first. After another shot there was chaos in the bus and everyone jumped on everyone else,” passenger Idan Kaner told Channel 2 TV.
He also said the attack lasted 3 or 4 minutes until the bus was able to drive away.
Entrances and exits to Eilat were sealed, as roadblocks were thrown up in the area.
A “large number” of attackers were working in multiple squads, the military said, but gave no specifics.
Israeli military spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich said:
“We are talking about a terror squad that infiltrated into Israel.”
“This is a combined terrorist attack against Israelis.”
“Israeli security forces tracked down some of the assailants and killed 7 in a gun battle,” she added.
[googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”] Israel said the assailants came from the Gaza Strip and made their way through Sinai, which borders both Israel and Gaza.
“The incident underscores the weak Egyptian hold on Sinai and the broadening of the activities of terrorists,” the Israeli Defence minister, Ehud Barak, said in a statement.
“The real source of the terror is in Gaza and we will act against them with full force and determination.”
Security in Sinai area has been deteriorated since February, when Hosni Mubarak was toppled.
The new attack comes just a week after the Egyptian army said it was about to launch an operation in Sinai to target what it described as “al-Qaeda elements” on the Egyptian side of the border, where they had attacked a gas pipeline.
A senior security official from Egypt denied that the assailants crossed into Israel from Sinai or that the buses were fired at from inside Egyptian territory.
“The border is heavily guarded,” said a Sinai-based official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.