WASHINGTON: Traditional US allies are among a growing chorus condemning President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Saudi Arabia called it “unjustified and irresponsible”, while France and the UK said they did not support the decision. But Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hailed it as “a historic day”.
President Trump’s move reversed decades of US policy. The fate of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Donald Trump’s move as “deplorable”.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are expected to hold a day of strikes and protests on Thursday.
The UN Security Council is to discuss the issue on Friday after eight of the 15 nations called for an emergency session. The Arab League is to meet on Saturday.
The US president said on Wednesday 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 said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Arab and the wider Muslim world – including a number of US allies – condemned Mr Trump’s announcement.
Demonstrations have already taken place outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
“The US move represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem,” the Saudi royal court said.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak called on Muslims everywhere to “make it clear that we strongly oppose” the US move.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was “a moment of great anxiety”. He said “there is no alternative to the two-state solution”.