On December 1, a senior US official told Reuters that US President Donald Trump may deliver a speech on December 6 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Some Arab experts speculate that such a move will be a major blow to the US relations with Arab countries and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. None of the former US president or western leaders have ever recognized Israel’s control over all of Jerusalem.
However, a spokesperson with the White House National Security Council denied these claims and told Reuters that the White House have “nothing to announce”.
President Trump has promised during his presidential campaign in 2016 that he will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Many experts doubted Trump’s promises back then and didn’t believe that Trump could take such a dangerous step. However recently many reports claimed that the US president is close to announcing this historical decision.
Trump said on October 8 that he wanted to give a shot at achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians before moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since then, no real effort has been made by the US to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward.
“I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem … If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen” Trump said during an interview on October 8 according to Reuters.
Saeb Erekat, a member of the Palestinian Parliament described the possible US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “playing with fire”, according to the Qatari al-Jazzera TV.
“Any US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will end Jerusalem cause,” Erekat said on December 1.
The Palestinian side will likely halt all negotiations with Israel if Trump fulfills his promise to Israel. A new upraising in the Western Bank and a military escalation in Gaza Strip are also a possible outcomes.