December 5, 2017
President Donald Trump is set to announce tomorrow a change in US policy that threatens to spark unrest across the Middle East, declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, and beginning the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city.
Arab nations and Palestinian officials have warned of dire consequences, the Washington Post reported.
Turkey said the change in policy would be a “major catastrophe.” Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the plan a “red line” for Muslims, with Turkish officials saying they will consider severing diplomatic ties with Israel.
US embassies around the world are being warned to prepare for violence and protests, according to the State Department, with travel banned for government employees and their families to Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank.
Mr. Trump will be the first US president to take the step since the founding of Israel in 1948
Mr. Trump placed a flurry of phone calls to Arab leaders Tuesday, on the eve of a policy address in which he plans to explain the move, and fielded protests from Arab, Palestinian and European leaders to his plan, according to foreign officials, The Wall St. Journal reported Tuesday night.
In a shift from his previous policy, he also will say that he is prepared to accept a two-state solution, possibly as a panacea to the many opposed to his planned move.
Mr. Trump also plans to sign a national security waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for an additional six months while the Jerusalem move is planned.