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PRESS RELEASE


Responses to Trump Announcement To Move Embassy to Jerusalem

Dec. 6, 2017 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump announced today that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but he plans to delay actually moving the embassy from Tel Aviv due to logistical constraints.

Ynetnews reports that Trump will "dash hopes in the Israeli government by signing a waiver that will keep the U.S. Embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv" for three or four years.

Trump has already discussed this with both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In response to the move, Abbas called world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Pope, in a bid to increase pressure on Trump to desist from making the Wednesday announcement.

For Netanyahu it served as some welcome relief between police interrogations over the allegations of corruption that could send him to jail. Ironically, this morning the news was not the number-one story in Ynet, Israel’s largest news portal. The number-one story is the interrogation of Coalition Chairman, and top Netanyahu ally, MK David Bitan on allegations of corruption.

Another official claimed the move would not prejudge final talks and would represent the reality that west Jerusalem is and will continue to be part of Israel under any settlement.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkatsaid that moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could take "two minutes" if the U.S. converted one of its existing assets in the city, such as its consulate located in western Jerusalem.

"They just take the symbol of the consulate and switch it to the embassy symbol—two American Marines can do it in two minutes, and give the ambassador David Friedman a space to sit in,"

Barkat told Israel Radio.

There is widespread fear that the announcement could trigger violence and demonstrations throughout the region. Arab and other leaders have been voicing their concern. Jordanian King Abdullah II called Palestinian President Abbas to stress

"his full support with his Palestinian brothers in respect to their historic rights inherent in Jerusalem and of the need to work together to face the consequences of Trump’s decision and halt whatever will harm the hopes of the Palestinian people to build a state with East Jerusalem as its capital."

Jordan also plans to convene emergency meetings of the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation next Saturday and Sunday to discuss the "dangerous" consequences of Trump’s decision, the foreign minister said.

The Moroccan King Muhammad VI sent Trump a memo saying that "Jerusalem needs to continue to be a place of coexistence and equality." Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told Trump there was no need to "complicate" matters in the Middle East, after Trump phoned him to talk about his decision, a Cairo presidential statement said. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Dec. 6 that the move was "unlawful."

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "This could go as far as cutting our diplomatic relations with Israel. You cannot take such a step," Erdogan told a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). "Mr. Trump! Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims."

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has slammed Washington’s decision to relocate U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem as incompetence and failure, according to Reuters.