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Jordan, Palestinians request emergency Arab League meeting on Jerusalem

Trump plans to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 December, 2017

The Arab League has requested an emergency meeting following news of Trump's plan to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Jordan and Palestinians have asked for an emergency meeting of the Arab League as the US plans to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Members are set to meet in Cairo on Saturday, a diplomatic source said.

Before the plan's announcement late on Tuesday, Arab League member state delegates issued a joint statement saying it would constitute a "clear assault on the Arab nation and the rights of Palestinians and all Muslims and Christians".

On Wednesday President Donald Trump is expected to officially announce his support of Israel's claim on Jerusalem as its capital, breaking decades of careful US policy and ignoring warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.

The Arab world reacted with anger on Tuesday after Trump's decided to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

A Jordanian palace statement quoted King Abdullah as telling the US president that such a decision would have "dangerous repercussions on the stability and security in the region" and would obstruct US efforts to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks.

"Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world," the statement added.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also joined a mounting chorus of warnings. 

Abbas "warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world," his spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said.

The status of Jerusalem is a critical issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming the city as their capital.

Palestinians called for three days of protests starting from Wednesday, raising fears of potential unrest.

Israel seized the largely Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, claiming both sides of the city as its capital.

But the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state and fiercely oppose any Israeli attempt to extend sovereignty there.

Trump was pushed to act on the embassy as a result of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which stated that the city "should be recognised as the capital of the state of Israel" and that the US embassy should be moved there.

A waiver has been repeatedly invoked by successive US presidents, postponing the move on grounds of "national security" once every six months, meaning the law has never taken effect.

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