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The New Arab

Trump's Jerusalem move 'coordinated with Arab leaders'

Yisrael Katz (L), intelligence minister, claims Arab leaders helping contain reactions to Trump's move [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 December, 2017

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An Israeli minister has suggested Donald Trump had obtained an 'green light' from Arab countries for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday.
An Israeli minister has suggested Donald Trump had obtained an 'green light' from Arab countries for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday.

Speaking to Israel's Channel 10, Yisrael Katz, Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Intelligence, claimed the US administration had coordinated the move with Arab leaders prior to the decision, to ensure they would help contain Palestinian and Arab reactions.

Some Arab governments' reliance on American protection, Katz said, is a key factor determining the nature of their reactions.

Regarding Saudi Arabia's position on Trump's move, Katz claimed Riyadh would take into account "shared security interests with Israel," particularly in relation to common foe Iran.

Katz said Trump's decision is "historical", as it heads off any attempt by the Palestinians to invoke UN resolution 181 to partition Jerusalem and claim the Arab part of the city as their own under international law.

Donald Trump had informed several Arab leaders of his move a day before he made the announcement on Wednesday.

Arab leaders have since issued strong warnings and called an emergency meeting of the Arab League, but made no mention of any specific steps against the controversial move that has already sparked protests across the Middle East.

There has been speculation that Trump's move could be part of the so-called Deal of the Century, which allegedly offers the town of Abu Dis close to Jerusalem as an alternative Palestinian capital.

The purported deal is said to have been discussed betwen Trump's son in law Jared Kushner and Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, but Saudi Arabia has denied the reports.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects saying its status should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law.

The Palestinians hope it would become the capital of their future state once agreed in final status negotiations with Israel, according to the 1993 Oslo Accords. Trump's move puts this hope in serious jeopardy.

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