President Donald Trump says ‘it is time to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital’.
Speaking at the White House, the US president said he had “judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians”.
He announced that he had ordered the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He continued his address saying, the decision is a long overdue step to advance the peace process.
What is the significance?
The decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital puts the US at odds with the rest of the international community’s view on Jerusalem’s status.
The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and until now all countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but is not internationally recognised as part of Israel.
SOURCE: euronews & BBC