DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:05 PM) – United States president Donald Trump has shocked the world by pushing through the much-feared decision to officially recognize the Israeli claim on the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital, thereby ignoring warnings all around the world that the decision would spark further unrest and instability in the Middle East.
In a speech delivered to press in the White House on Wednesday, Trump declared that the US would move its embassy from the coastal city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city that is considered sacred by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the president said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The announcement by the Trump administration marks a complete overhaul of US policy towards the region, undoing decades of former policy by Washington DC that was aimed at establishing a two-state solution. East Jerusalem is widely and officially considered to be Palestinian soil, as well as the legitimate capital of the Palestinian Authority. However, the Muslim-majority East of Jerusalem has been under military occupation by Israeli forces since 1967.
It is widely believed that the decision was aimed at pleasing Trump’s ultraconservative powerbase, mostly Republican conservatives and evangelical Christian Zionists. Trump furthermore signed into law a 1995 bill that officially obliges the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a signing that previous presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama refused doing during their presidency.