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Trump declares Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital

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Gaza6Dec2WASHINGTON (PNIC):-U.S. President Donald Trump has formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, becoming the first American president to ever do so.

“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” said Trump during his speech at the White House, delivered on Wednesday at 1 p.m. local time.

During his speech, the president also announced that he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite the waiver signed recently that delayed the decision by six months.

Commenting on the motivation behind his decision, Trump said that while “we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement, it would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula will achieve anything different.”

The U.S. president said that he wanted to look at the Palestinian-Israeli decades-long conflict with fresh thinking, explaining that he judges “this course of action to be in the best interests of the U.S. and the pursuit of peace.”

The president said he was aware of the warning he received regarding his decision.

“There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement – but we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation.”

Following Trump’s speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the decision as “historic.” Netanyahu pledged “no change to status quo at Jerusalem holy sites,” reported Agence France Presse (AFP).

While Trump’s move was warmly welcomed by Israel, it was strongly condemned by Arab leaders.

Many, including King Mohammed VI of Morocco, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, attempted to stop Trump from taking the step. However, Trump was firm in his decision.

The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas said that Donald Trump’s decision would open the “gates of hell.”

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