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Jerusalem, Israel’s Capital

Mohamad Torokman, Reuters

Mohamad Torokman, Reuters

Gavin Kuncl, Reporter

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On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel, stirring up tensions between Palestine and Israel. Both nations have claimed Jerusalem as their capital. With this announcement also came the fact that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv will be moved to Jerusalem. This policy change seemed to improve US Israeli relations, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Trump at a Foreign Ministry conference. “President Trump has always linked himself to the history of our capital,” he said. “His name will now float along with other names in the context of the glorious history of Jerusalem and our people.” While improving relations with Israel, the double-edged sword seems to have hurt U.S. and Israeli relations with Palestine, as hundreds of protesters set pictures of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, US flags and Israeli flags on fire.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN) have expressed reluctance to touch the sensitive Middle Eastern issue, with the United Kingdom and Australia making it clear that they would not follow President Trump’s lead on the issue.

Reaction from the Muslim world has been largely negative, with Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Malaysia responding negatively. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for “… a renewed intifada (uprising) against occupation.” Jihad terrorist groups Nafeth Azzam and Ahmed al- Batsh, backed by Iran, are apparently readying for “a new armed struggle.” In addition, civilians have clashed with Israeli security forces at Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. The situation escalated after the security forces used riot control after the protesters started to throw and burn objects.

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Jerusalem, Israel’s Capital