Trump to announce controversial Jerusalem embassy move 'on Monday'

Trump to announce controversial Jerusalem embassy move 'on Monday'
Israeli news outlet says controversial embassy move promised by Donald Trump will be announced on his first full working day as president.
2 min read
23 January, 2017
Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to carry out the controversial move [Getty]
The White House is set to announce that the US embassy in Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, an Israeli news outlet has reported.

The report by Israel's Channel 2 cited an anonymous source who said that the Trump administration would be announcing the highly controversial move during the president's first full day in office.

Channel 2 said the claim had not been confirmed, while Washington has yet to release an official statement on the matter since the president's inauguration on Friday.

On Monday, Jerusalem's Arab mayor Nir Barakat suggested that the move will go ahead and that the Trump administration is "serious" about it.

Speaking to Army Radio, Barakat said
he knows that Trump's team are "serious about their intentions" of moving the embassy because of conversations he has had with the new US administration.

However he added that "an embassy cannot be moved in one day," indicating that even if the plan is approved, it will take a while to be implemented.

Trump has repeatedly promised to make the controversial embassy move, which would mark a break with decades of US policy and throw Palestinian-Israeli peace process into deeper turmoil.

Read also: Netanyahu-Trump love affair begins with anti-Palestinian measures, February meeting

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has described the plan as "explosive," due to both Israelis and Palestinians viewing the ancient city as their capital.

"You'd have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region," Kerry said in an interview with CBS.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said earlier this month that he may consider "reversing recognition" of Israel if Trump moves the US embassy to Jerusalem.

"I wrote to President-elect Trump to ask him not to do it. Not only would this move deprive the United States of all legitimacy in playing a role in conflict resolution, it would also destroy the two-state solution," Abbas was quoted as saying in French daily Le Figaro.

The status of Jerusalem, which Israel was occupied by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1980, has proven one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel considers the city – including occupied East Jerusalem – as its indivisible capital.

The Palestinians, however, want to make East Jerusalem the capital of their future state.