WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but emphasized that he was not pre-empting negotiations over the final status of the city.
“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said in a televised address from the White House, with Vice President Mike Pence standing behind him.
“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. I today am delivering.”
Trump in the proclamation also directed the State Department to start planning an embassy in Jerusalem. The U.S. Embassy is currently in Tel Aviv.
The president said the decision should not impinge on efforts led by his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, to bring about a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Trump said the proclamation does not presume the outcome of Jerusalem’s status in negotiations.
“We are not taking a position on any final status issues, including the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who welcomed the announcement, has said repeatedly that Jerusalem will remain undivided as Israel’s capital. Palestinian officials hope to establish the capital of a Palestinian state in the city’s eastern sector.
Trump also made a point of urging the preservation of the status quo on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. The controlling authority on the Temple Mount now is the Muslim Waqf, and Jews are forbidden to pray on the site.
Top photo: President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
- Winners and losers as the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
- Prepare for violence, US Consulate in Jerusalem warns ahead of Trump embassy announcement
- Hamas says Trump’s Jerusalem decision ‘opens the gates of hell’
- Trump reportedly tells Abbas he intends to move US Embassy to Jerusalem
- How Jewish groups are reacting to Jerusalem recognition
- Thinking of moving to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem? These Israeli towns want you instead.
More In News
- Maybe the fact that the pandemic brought daily life to a halt allowed us to see more clearly what we've been ignoring all along, writes Will Schwarz, founder of the … read more
- Israel has offered Lebanon humanitarian assistance after a massive explosion at Beirut’s waterfront killed at least 30 people and injured thousands. read more
- None of us can breathe easy until all of us can breathe freely, writes Pikesville resident Gail Lipsitz. read more
- The departure of columnist Bari Weiss from the New York Times is a major blow to balanced journalism, writes Jack Gilden. read more