Christian Leaders Warned Trump Against Recognizing Jerusalem As Israeli Capital

We got Bella and Gigi Hadid's dad - who's Palestinian himself - shortly after Trump announced the U.S. was going to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's new capital, and he calls it a "sad day in my life".

Palestinian Arabs make up nearly 40 percent of Jerusalem's population and live almost exclusively in the east. They are legal residents, but not citizens of Israel.

"Trump's decision violates international resolutions and undermines efforts to achieve peace in the region, and it also represents the US statement of abandoning sponsorship of the peace process", Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday. "Today, I am delivering".

"We have diplomatic relations with 190 countries". Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and illegally occupied in a move never recognised internationally. Abbas said Trump's decision was tantamount to the United States abdicating its peace mediator role.

In cities inside Gaza, thousands of Palestinians rallied, some chanting: "Death to America!" At a White House dinner in the spring, Adelson made the issue a main topic, one person said. The Jews will immediately reject him and he will begin to persecute them and try to annihilate them from the face of the Earth.

Kushner and Greenblatt expect in the long run Trump's announcement won't hurt and could help prospects for peace, the two officials said. "He pulled the trigger, Trump pulled the trigger".

In Shufat camp in East Jerusalem, home to Palestinians displaced in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, young men played snooker and cards as they waited for Trump to speak.

The question is especially acute because there are so many potential downsides.

However, Jacob Solomon, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, said the move was long overdue.

Seeking to soften the blow of his announcement to the Palestinians, he insisted he was not taking a position on "any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders".

During a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, Rouhani called on Islamic states to join hands in opposing the "dangerous" move. According to people briefed on the meeting, Trump repeated his earlier assertions that he had to follow through on his campaign pledge, seemingly irritated by objections over security and the break with previous policy.

Some outside confidants, including billionaire Tom Barrack, urged Trump to hold off, worried that the move would deepen regional tensions caused by Saudi Arabia's political shake-up and Iran's growing reach.

Senior administration officials had confirmed the president's intentions Tuesday evening.

Trump's decision has drawn sharp criticism, with the significant exception of Israel.

For two decades, U.S. presidents had promised to do what Trump did Wednesday, but they ultimately issued repeated waivers to a law requiring relocation of the embassy.

Hamas said Trump's decision would "open the gates of hell" on US interests in the region.

Meanwhile, mass rallies, demonstrations and protests took place in most of the Gaza Strip area, rejecting the US decision.

The consulate consists of a historic building in west Jerusalem and a much larger new facility built in the south of the city, directly on the so-called Green Line, the 1949 armistice line between Israel and Jordan. Some protesters burned American and Israeli flags as well as photos of Trump.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong have joined the condemnation.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the British government disagreed with Trump's decision, saying it was "unhelpful" for peace efforts. "We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital", she said in a statement. Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a powerful symbolic step.

  • Gilberto Valderrama