Donald Trump has announced the US will recognise the Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy to the city.
Prior to his speech, a number of Middle Eastern leaders warned that the move would be seen as a declaration of war against the Palestinians, who also see Jerusalem as their capital.
Trump’s decision breaks with a long-standing convention by the international community to place their Israeli embassies in the city of Tel Aviv in the hope that Israel and the Palestinians could come to their own agreement on the future of Jerusalem as part of a future two-state peace agreement.
The US President was keen to point out that he wanted a “peace settlement acceptable to both sides” and “would support a two-state solution if agreed by both sides”, but in recognising Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem Trump has put Palestinian leaders with a weaker negotiating position.
In contrast to the US, the other 86 countries with embassies in Tel Aviv, including the UK, Germany, France, China, and India, are expected to keep their embassies in their current location.