WORLD CAPITALS – Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem) has sparked fierce condemnations worldwide, with some comparing it to launching “war on 1.5 billion Muslims.”
“I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,” Pope Francis said.
The Pope told thousands of people at his general audience: “I cannot keep quiet about my deep concern about the situation that has been created in the last few days.”
Announced on Wednesday, Trump’s controversial decision is a fulfillment of a campaign promise.
Congress passed a law in 1995 ordering the US Embassy to be moved to Al-Quds. Ever since, successive presidents have issued a series of six-month waivers to forestall the move.
The White House said Tuesday that Trump’s decision was a “recognition of reality.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah reportedly told the president the expected decision will have “dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region,” according to a palace statement.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who spoke by telephone with Trump, warned against “the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security, and stability of the region and of the world,” Abbas spokesman Navil Abu Rudeina said in a statement, according to Al-Jazeera.
In a fiery televised speech on Monday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Trump by name that the move constituted a “red line” for Muslims.
“We could go as far as cutting diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue,” Erdogan said.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh also warned against repercussions of such divisive decision.
“Our Palestinian people everywhere will not allow this conspiracy to pass, and their options are open in defending their land and their sacred places,” he said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she intended to speak to Trump about the status of Jerusalem which should be determined as part of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
Israel occupied the holy city and the West Bank in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements.