Occupied Jerusalem/Washington: American President Donald Trump will recognize Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Wednesday, upending decades of careful US policy and ignoring dire warnings from allies across the Middle East and the world.
A senior administration official said Trump would make the keenly watched announcement at 1 pm (1800 GMT) from the White House.
"He will say that that the United States government recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"He views this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality," the source added, "and modern reality."
According to reports, Trump will also announce today that the US is relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv, where most countries including India have their main diplomatic missions, to Jerusalem --- a process that, officials have said, could take upwards of three or four years.
Plunging further into a bitter centuries-old argument between Jews, Muslims and Christians, Trump will also order planning to begin on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to AFP.
But he will sign a waiver to keep it in Tel Aviv for now, and perhaps for "years."
"It will take some time to find a site, to address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility and build it," the official said.
Expectations of Trump’s announcement have already roiled the combustible region with allies warning of violence and Americans advised by their government to avoid Jerusalem’s old city.
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the highest seat of learning in the Muslim world, has warned against U.S. plans to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and officially recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Cairo-based institution said that the potential U.S. move would constitute “a threat to world peace.”
Such a move “would fuel sentiments of anger among Muslims, threaten world peace and deepen tension, division, and hatred in the world,” it warned.
The prestigious institution went on to underline the Arab identity of Jerusalem, calling on Arab and Islamic nations to rally to prevent the U.S. move.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also warned that American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would jeopardize the White House’s nascent Mideast peace efforts.
“Any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, or moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable for the Palestinians, Arabs and internationally,” Abbas told a group of visiting Arab lawmakers from Israel, according to the official Wafa news agency.
Saudi King Salman also warned US President Donald Trump that any decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem before a permanent peace settlement is reached will inflame the feelings of Muslims, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.
King Salman had received a telephone call from Trump about developments in the region and the world. The king asserted to Trump that any American announcement regarding the situation of Jerusalem prior to reaching a permanent settlement “will harm peace talks and increase tensions in the area,” the SPA said.
It quoted King Salman as saying that Saudi Arabia supported the Palestinian people and their historic rights and asserted that “such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque...”
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