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  • Part of the Old City in Jerusalem, where U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to relocate the U.S: Embassy from Tel Aviv.

    Part of the Old City in Jerusalem, where U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to relocate the U.S: Embassy from Tel Aviv. | Photo: Reuters

Officials said that Trump's expected announcement, due midday Wednesday, is "recognition of a reality," but noted that moving the embassy "will take years."

The White House is set to formally announce Wednesday its intentions to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Al Jazeera reports, a plan that has already met with global condemnation.

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Officials said in a briefing late Tuesday that Trump's expected announcement, due midday local time, is "recognition of a reality," but noted that moving the embassy "will take years."

Meanwhile, Trump will continue to sign the six-month waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv until that process is complete. 

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier informed his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, that he plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Wafa, the news agency of the Palestinian National Authority.

"President Abbas warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world," said Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina.

Trump's intention to relocate the embassy was communicated to Abbas via a telephone call.

No further details have been given about when the move will take place, but the Jordanian royal palace has issued a statement confirming that King Abdullah II has previously warned Trump of the "dangerous repercussions" for the "stability and security of the region."

Immediately after Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan, it claimed the city was "united."

Palestinians have long proclaimed that their future state capital will be in East Jerusalem. And they've warned that Trump’s proposed move, apart from inflaming sentiments throughout Palestine, would undermine Washington's status as an honest peace-broker.

Red line

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat says he has talked with Arab leaders, and that those leaders insist "Jerusalem is a red line: not just for Palestinians, but for Arabs, Muslims and Christians everywhere."

If the United States follows through with its intention to relocate its embassy, it will be the only country in the world to have an embassy in Jerusalem.

The international community – including the United States – does not recognise Israel's jurisdiction over or ownership of the city of Jerusalem.

In recent days, senior Palestinian officials have warned of the potentially destructive effects of any move that would deny their claim to occupied East Jerusalem as their future capital.

In June, Trump signed a six-month waiver to delay the relocation, which would have complicated U.S. efforts to resume the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"Every US president, for more than 20 years, has recognised that this could have cataclysmic results and repercussions if it were to happen," said Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, DC.

Several world leaders have sharply criticised the planned relocation, fearing it would further escalate regional tensions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel as a result. The move would be a "red line" for Muslims, he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump by telephone that Jerusalem's status must be decided in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Arab League has held an emergency meeting to discuss developments on the status of Jerusalem, following a request by Palestinian officials.

And Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, warns any such gesture "would have disastrous consequences for the United States around the world."

"Arabs and Muslims will not take this lying down – if not today, then tomorrow – and that will have major consequences for the United States," Bishara said.


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