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Trump to declare Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Jerusalem/Rabat, Dec 6 (IANS/MAP)
Published on 6 Dec. 2017 11:40 PM IST
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Israeli security forces were preparing for clashes with Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank ahead of US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
A military official said the Israeli Army was “preparing for possible escalation”, including violent rallies, Xinhua news agency reported. In the city of Bethlehem on Tuesday night, posters of Trump were burnt at a rally that began after a senior White House official confirmed that the US leader will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday.
Trump is also expected to announce that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but the move will not be carried out immediately, according to the official.
The announcement will mark a change in the US policy which has never recognised the annexed city as part of Israel. Palestinian officials have warned that the move will “kill” any chance for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who consider East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. East Jerusalem is a predominantly Palestinian territory, which Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it shortly later. The annexation was never recognised by the international community. Trump’s announcement is expected to trigger an angry response from the Palestinians as well as by Jordan and other Muslim countries, which have already warned such a move would be unacceptable.
Jerusalem is a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. The Old City in eastern Jerusalem is home to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, a site known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (“the Nobel Sanctuary”) and to Jews as the Temple Mount. Jordan is the custodian of the compound.
Morocco condemns Trump’s Jerusalem plan
Morocco has expressed its deep concern and strongly condemned the intended move of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer its embassy to the disputed holy city, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
King Mohammed VI, the chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Al Quds Committee, slammed the decision and expressed the kingdom’s “strong and unwavering support for the brotherly Palestinian people in defending their just cause and legitimate rights, mainly concerning the status of Jerusalem”.
Morocco stressed on the need to preserve the historical, legal and political status of Jerusalem. It called on the UN, particularly the permanent members of the Security Council, to shoulder their responsibilities in order to avoid anything that might affect this status and hinder international efforts to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
China concerned over Trump’s Jerusalem plan
China on Wednesday expressed concern over US President Donald Trump’s intended move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient city, saying it can cause new confrontation. 
Trump was expected to make the announcement in a speech later in the day, according to White House sources.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press conference that the status of Jerusalem was very complicated and sensitive. 
He said China had always supported the Middle East peace process and was in favour of an independent state of Palestine based on the internationally approved 1967 borders, with its capital city in East Jerusalem.

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