White House Confirms Trump's Plan to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Palestinians Call for 3 Days of Rage
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President Trump announced moments ago that "it is time to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
His move comes after senior White House officials confirmed Tuesday that the president would announce plans Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also direct the State Department to begin moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Officials say no official boundaries within Jerusalem will change and that will be left up to both the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Instead, White House officials say this move is based on the "recognition of reality," affirming the fact that Jerusalem has been Israel's seat of power for the last seven decades.
Trump's announcement fulfills his major campaign promise of saying he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It's another example of Trump keeping a promise to evangelicals.
"They want it in Jerusalem. Well I am for that 100 percent. We are for that 100 percent," Trump told CBN News' David Brody during the campaign. "They're our best ally in the Middle East. They've really been loyal to us. We have not been loyal to them."
The Trump administration says they’re very much committed to the Mideast peace process and believe there has been progress made behind the scenes. However, the Senior White House staffers believe the United States position of, “ambiguity” on issues relating to Jerusalem and the embassy haven’t helped advance the prospects of peace the last few decades.
White House administration officials believe that approach hasn’t worked and taking it off the negotiation table will help both sides come to an agreement on bigger issues that keep them apart.
The administration reportedly hasn't decided where the U.S. embassy will be built in Jerusalem, acknowledging it could take years to eventually complete the move.
The State Department will be tasked with coming up with a plan to find a site and build it. Until then, the president will continue to sign waivers required under U.S. law to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv until the project is completed.
When asked what would happen if President Trump wasn't in office before the embassy was built, administration officials pointed out that once construction on an embassy begins, it doesn't usually get stopped.
CBN's David Brody asked Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, during Tuesday's White House briefing, about how the president reached his decision. She replied it was a "thoughtful, interagency process."
Palestinian Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem "breaks red lines." He's threatening the decision by the Trump administration to recognize the city as Israel's capital would be "igniting the spark of rage against the occupation."
The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem says that since the Palestinians are calling for three days of rage, they're warning U.S. citizens to avoid traveling in certain areas of Israel:
"With widespread calls for demonstrations beginning December 6 in Jerusalem and the West Bank, U.S. government employees and their family members are not permitted until further notice to conduct personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank, to include Bethlehem and Jericho."
The Palestinian Authority and Arab governments have said that moving the embassy would cause unrest in the region.
Abbas warned Trump of the "dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and the world," Rdainah said.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also described the status of Jerusalem as a "red line" for Muslims that could lead to his country severing diplomatic relations with Israel. The European Union has also warned of "serious repercussions."
The news of President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an answer to the prayers of many Christians.
"Never has there been a more urgent moment for the church to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem than right now. I say this as an evangelical. I say this as now an Israeli citizen and a Jerusalem resident," Joel Rosenberg said.
"These issues are explosive. So how the church handles it, how we speak about it, how we act toward people we disagree with and how we pray: these things matter," he continued.
Rosenberg's Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem is working to educate the next generation of Christians about the biblical importance of Israel as the Holy Land.
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