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Israel stands alone to praise Trump after controversial Jerusalem move Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel stands alone to praise Trump after controversial Jerusalem move

Netanyahu had reportedly been a participant in lobbying Trump in the move [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 December, 2017

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Israel's prime minister lavished praise on US President Donald Trump on Thursday for his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite mounting international criticism.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lavished praise on US President Donald Trump on Thursday for his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a deeply controversial move the premier had long sought.

"President Trump bound himself forever with the history of our capital," Netanyahu said.

"His name will now be proudly displayed alongside other names in the city’s glorious history.”

The move – which he had pledged during his 2016 presidential campaign – ends seven decades of US ambiguity on the status of the Holy City, which is vociferously claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

Read also: Netanyahu was an 'active participant' in influencing Trump's Jerusalem move

But the move immediately caused a stir with US allies who condemned the move, and sparked anger among Palestinians and their supporters.

Saudi Arabia blasted the move as "unjustified and irresponsible", and said it goes against the "historical and permanent rights of the Palestinian people."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump's "deplorable and unacceptable" move meant that the United States was withdrawing as a sponsor of the peace process.

Through gritted teeth, Britain described the move as "unhelpful" and France called it "regrettable." Germany said plainly that it "does not support" Trump's decision.

Eight countries including Britain, France and Italy pressed for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in response to the move, which was set for Friday.

The leaders of Muslim nations meanwhile deployed ever-harsher rhetoric to describe Trump's decision.

Turkey and Iran, both vying for regional influence, tried to give voice to the anger felt by many across the Muslim world.

Ankara called the decision "irresponsible" and illegal. Tehran said it would "provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada."

The Palestine Liberation Organisation announced a strike in protest across the West Bank on Thursday, while Hamas – the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip – called for a "day of rage" on Friday.

Read also: After Jerusalem, Trump will have Palestinian blood on his hands within days

Hamas warned that Trump had opened "the gates of hell on US interests in the region.”

Trump's predecessors, from Bill Clinton to George Bush, had made the same promise, but quickly reneged upon taking office.

But the 45th US president was determined to show his arrival in Washington spells the end of business as usual, suggesting his predecessors failed to act through lack of "courage."

Moving the embassy will probably take years to implement, but the repercussions of Trump's decision preceded even his announcement.

Agencies contributed to this report

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