Trump isn't deciding who controls East Jerusalem — Haley

The Dome of the Rock in the Al Aqsa mosque compound Islam's third holiest shrine

The Dome of the Rock in the Al Aqsa mosque compound Islam's third holiest shrine

However, U.S. leaders have routinely and unceremoniously delayed such a move since President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1995 stipulating that the United States must relocate its diplomatic presence to Jerusalem unless the commander in chief issues a waiver on national security grounds.

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza protested the American decision on Wednesday, led by the Islamic faction Hamas, coinciding with rallies in Jerusalem and West Bank, meanwhile, Ramallah and several Palestinian and Israeli cities witnessed heavy existence of the Israeli security forces as a precaution for the expected protests against the Trump's decision.

Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, widely seen as the most senior Christian figure in Jerusalem, and a dozen other church leaders in the Holy Land, sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday warning of "irreparable harm".

Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to say Moscow backs a resumption of talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities, including on the status of Jerusalem, the Kremlin said. Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani told Trump that declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital will erode stability in the Middle East, Al-Jazeera television reported.

Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs, said Trump's decision would prove self defeating to another of the president's key Middle East policies - confronting Iran. It's part of a shift in American policy, acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"It will take some time to find a site, to address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility and build it", the official said, indicating that the move would not be immediate. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, according to live footage from Turkey's state-run TRT television.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said there was no alternative to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and that Jerusalem was a final-status issue that should be resolved through direct talks. Moving the US embassy will probably take years to implement, but the repercussions of Trump's decision are likely to be swift. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state.

"The president will reiterate how committed he is to peace", a senior administration official said.

Plunging further into a decades-long dispute over a city considered holy by Jews, Muslims and Christians, Trump will also order to begin planning to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While officials in the Trump administration have said that some of these moves could jump-start peace, Ashrawi grimaced and said they would instead "scuttle peace".

Those disputes and divisions also mean that Jerusalem's economy is something of a tale of two cities, with very different opportunities for Israelis and Palestinians.

"When you look at a place that is on the verge of an explosion, you do not introduce a flame", said Hanan Ashrawi, who sits on the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee.

"I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians", Guterres said.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers to stay silent, at Trump's request, according to Israeli media.

They noted that almost all of Israel's government agencies and parliament are in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and other countries maintain embassies.

Before arriving at the NATO summit, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel made a sweeping condemnation of Trump's "America First" policy. Three-quarters live below the poverty line and 25% live in neighbourhoods cut off from the rest of the city by the separation barrier. "But they also know it can cause some trouble and will create reaction, mostly negative". "This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the UN Security Council", Macron told reporters in Algiers.

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