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Trump Declares Jerusalem Israel’s Capital, Faces International Warnings

2017-12-07

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[00:00.00]
  • United States President Donald Trump has declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • [00:12.08]
  • Trump made the announcement Wednesday at the White House.
  • [00:17.42]
  • He said the U.S. will begin steps to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • [00:28.16]
  • That process is expected to take years to complete however.
  • [00:35.35]
  • The move had been expected after Trump informed Palestinian and Jordanian leaders of the U.S. decision Tuesday.
  • [00:46.56]
  • Trump had promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during his presidential campaign.
  • [00:55.00]
  • The action is seen as an effort to complete a promise to political supporters, U.S. Jewish groups and American evangelical Christians.
  • [01:08.63]
  • However, many political and religious leaders around the world voiced serious concerns about the move.
  • [01:19.42]
  • Palestinian and Jordanian leaders condemned the U.S. plans.
  • [01:25.54]
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned the move could have “dangerous consequences” to peace efforts in the Middle East.
  • [01:37.83]
  • In a statement Wednesday, he said Trump's decision was “a declaration of withdrawal from the role (the U.S.) has played in the peace process.”
  • [01:50.25]
  • Jordan’s King Abdullah also expressed deep concerns.
  • [01:56.63]
  • He said that “ignoring the Palestinian Muslim and Christian rights in Jerusalem will only fuel further extremism and undermine the war against terrorism.”
  • [02:10.16]
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem represented a “red line” for Muslims.
  • [02:23.38]
  • He also warned that Turkey may decide to cut ties with Israel.
  • [02:29.71]
  • Jerusalem is home to important holy places for three major world religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
  • [02:40.85]
  • Israel captured the Arab area in east Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967.
  • [02:50.34]
  • Israel then declared the whole city its capital.
  • [02:54.70]
  • However, the move is not recognized internationally.
  • [03:00.14]
  • Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.
  • [03:05.76]
  • The international community does not recognize Israel’s control over the whole city but says negotiations should decide Jerusalem’s status.
  • [03:17.83]
  • Officials in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt also warned that Trump’s decision could harm peace efforts and increase tensions in the region.
  • [03:30.26]
  • In Gaza, hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators burned U.S. and Israeli flags in protest.
  • [03:40.46]
  • Several major European leaders – including those of Britain, France and Germany - expressed strong concerns.
  • [03:50.71]
  • They said any change to Jerusalem’s current status should be decided by the Israelis and Palestinians themselves.
  • [04:00.46]
  • In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump's decision, calling it "historic" for his country.
  • [04:11.06]
  • In his announcement, Trump said the decision was long overdue and one he believed was in the best interest of the United States.
  • [04:21.98]
  • He added that the current course had failed for many years to move forward the peace process.
  • [04:29.87]
  • Trump said the decision “marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
  • [04:40.65]
  • He said the U.S. “remains deeply committed” to helping both sides reach an acceptable peace agreement.
  • [04:49.86]
  • Trump said he would accept a possible “two-state solution” for Jerusalem if the Israelis and Palestinians are willing to negotiate such a settlement.
  • [05:03.89]
  • “We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders,” Trump said.
  • [05:20.19]
  • “Those questions are up to the parties involved.”
  • [05:25.59]
  • I’m Bryan Lynn.
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