U.S. President Donald Trump reversed decades of policy on Dec 6, 2017 and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture will further drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.
In a speech at the White House, Mr. Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.
Trump aides contend the move reflects the reality of Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish faith and the fact that the city is the seat of the Israeli government.
Mr. Trump also called his decision "a long overdue" step to advance the peace process.
According to him, decision marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the thorny conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
A Palestinian envoy said the decision was a declaration of war in the region.Israel Vs Palestine Settlement: Know More
- Senior administration officials said on Dec 4, 2017 evening that the formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital did not prejudice a possible settlement between the two parties on its status later.
- The construction of a new embassy in Jerusalem would be a matter of years, not months, an official said.
- They said the location of the U.S. embassy had no bearing on the peace process.
- Mr. Trump's predecessors - from Bill Clinton to George Bush - made similar promises on the campaign trail, but quickly reneged upon taking office.