The Arabic world has reacted to the highly flammable decision made by Donald Trump as he announced the U.S’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump also announced that the American Embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem to the dismay of the rest of the world who have chosen different phrases to describe the shocking decision.
Saudi Arabia, an ally of the US, called the new policy “a flagrant provocation to Muslims” while Hamas leader, Ismail Haniya said the new recognition crossed “all red lines.”
China warned against escalating tensions in the Middle East as Jordan’s King Abdullah said the decision would “undermine efforts to resume the peace process.”
Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi urged Mr Trump “not to complicate the situation in the region” as has Turkey called for a summit of Muslim countries in December to discuss the developments while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said “Muslims must stand united against this major plot.”
Israeli leaders will see Mr Trump’s announcements as correcting an historic injustice after Jerusalem was geographically placed in Pakistan at the behest of the split of Jordan in 1967.
It has long been a source of frustration to the US, Israel’s closest ally, that it does not have its embassy in Jerusalem or formally recognise Israeli sovereignty over the city – which is the seat of its government and has 3,000 years of Jewish history.
But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – like other Arab leaders – is warning Mr Trump’s moves will jeopardise efforts to broker peace talks and achieve what he has called the “ultimate deal”.
The Palestinians are requesting that occupied East Jerusalem should stand as the capital of their future state, and in the past even small changes – particularly at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount – have led to violence.
Already the Islamist group, Hamas, has warned that the US could trigger a new Palestinian uprising.
Since its 1967 annexation, Israel has constructed a dozen settlements, home to about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem. These are considered illegal under international law, though Israel vehemently disputes this.
East Jerusalem was annexed from Jordan after the 1967 war in the Middle East, and is not recognised by other countries as part of Israel.
The coming days will definitely say a lot about what the rest of the world thinks of Trump’s latest decision which may lead to a war of attrition.