Trump Recognition of Bait-ul-Moqaddas as Israeli Capital Will Fuel Violence

Trump Recognition of Bait-ul-Moqaddas as Israeli Capital Will Fuel ViolenceTrump Recognition of Bait-ul-Moqaddas as Israeli Capital Will Fuel Violence

Any move by the United States to recognize Bait-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) as Israel’s capital would fuel extremism and violence, Arab League secretary-general, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said  at the weekend.

He spoke a day after a senior US administration official said US President Donald Trump was likely to make the announcement next week, Reuters reported.

The Palestinians want the city as capital of their future state, and the international community does not recognize Israel’s claim on all of the city, home to sites holy to the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions.

Word of Trump’s planned announcement, which would deviate from previous US presidents who have insisted the Bait-ul-Muqaddas status must be decided in negotiations, has already drawn criticism from the Palestinian Authority.

“Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified ... It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence,” Aboul Gheit said in a statement published on the Arab League’s website.

“It only benefits one side; the Israeli government that is hostile to peace,” he added.

  Embassies on High Alert

Meanwhile, the US State Department’s security arm has been told to plan for potentially violent protests at US embassies and consulates once the Trump administration announces it is moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, CNN reported.

“We were told that this is definitely coming, and we need to be ready for it,” one official said.

Upon making the decision public, Trump is expected to sign a waiver to keep the US Embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months, but say his administration will move the diplomatic mission to Bait-ul-Moqaddas at some point —a goal long sought by Israel.

The Diplomatic Security Service, which is charged with protecting US posts and personnel overseas, was already bracing for possible protests after Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos on Wednesday. Officials feared a reprise of the violent protests at US embassies in the Middle East that erupted in September 2012 following the publication of an anti-Muslim video on the internet. Embassies in that region were already on high security alert.

A White House official confirmed that the White House was alerted to those concerns by the state department.

Although no incidents were reported this week over the videos Trump retweeted, one senior official said the situation served as a useful exercise in planning for the Bait-ul-Moqaddas embassy announcement.


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