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Trump forges ahead on Jerusalem despite warnings of violence

By in Press Enterprise on December 5, 2017

By The Associated Press

By MATTHEW LEE and JOSEF FEDERMAN

The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump forged ahead Tuesday with plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests.

Trump also told the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan in phone calls that he intends to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It remained unclear, however, when he might take that physical step, which is required by U.S. law but has been waived on national security grounds for more than two decades.

For now, U.S. officials familiar with Trump’s planning said he would immediately declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a rhetorical volley that could have its own dangerous consequences.

The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem ordered its personnel and their families not to conduct personal travel to Jerusalem’s Old City or the West Bank due to fears of unrest over the expected U.S. announcement. The consulate said government employees could still travel to those areas for essential business but only with additional security.

The warning also urged American citizens to avoid large crowds or areas with increased police or military presence.

The United States has never endorsed the Jewish state’s claim of sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem and has insisted its status be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiation.

Trump’s recognition could be viewed as America discarding that longstanding position and siding with Israel at a time that the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been trying to midwife a new peace process into existence. Trump, too, has spoken of his desire for a “deal of the century” that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S. officials, along with an outside adviser to the administration, said they expected a broad statement from Trump about Jerusalem’s status as the “capital […]    

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