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Trump says U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite global condemnation

Jonathan Schanzer
6th December 2017 - Quoted by Louis Nelson and Matthew Nussbaum - Politico

The U.S. will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin taking steps to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday, making good on a campaign promise that critics fear could shut the door on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ignite fresh violence in the region.

"Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: That Jerusalem is Israel's capital," Trump said in a televised announcement from the White House. "This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done."

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The administration has already begun looking at existing structures for a possible embassy in Jerusalem, said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former Treasury Department terrorism finance analyst, who said he spoke to senior administration officials on Wednesday about the plan.

The administration has ruled out using the existing U.S. consulate in Jerusalem as the embassy. U.S. officials expect it to take at least three to four years to move the embassy, Schanzer said, adding that one Trump aide called that timeline a “conservative estimate.”

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Tags

israel, jerusalem, palestinians