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Jerusalem embassy move 'could fuel violence,' Arab league warns

Trump is expected to issue an announcement on his decision this week [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2017

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The head of the Arab League has warned that recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital would fuel fanaticism and violence.

A decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital would boost fanaticism and violence and hamper the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit warned on Sunday.

His remarks followed comments by Trump's son-in-law and Middle East peace envoy Jared Kushner, who told the Saban Forum on Sunday that the president is close to a decision on whether to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"It is unfortunate that some are insisting on carrying out this step without any regard to the dangers it carries to the stability of the Middle East and the whole world," Abul Gheit, told reporters in Cairo.

He added that the Arab League is closely following the issue and is in contact with Palestinian authorities and Arab states to coordinate the Arab position if Trump takes the controversial step.

Trump must decide on Monday whether to sign a legal waiver that would delay plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for another six months.

Every US president has done this since 1995, judging the time not ripe for such a move, and Trump is expected to begrudgingly do so for a second time this week.

But, according to diplomats and observers, he is also now expected to announce in a speech on Wednesday that he supports Israel's claim on Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian leaders are lobbying desperately against such a move, fearing it could provoke such fury in the Arab world it could sink peace hopes for a generation.

"Nothing justifies this act... it will not serve peace or stability, instead it will nourish fanaticism and violence," said Abul Gheit.

The move would "benefit only one side, which is the anti-peace Israeli government," he told reporters.

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