Trump decision on Jerusalem could have deep repercussions

FILE - In this Friday, July 21, 2017, file photo, Palestinians run away from tear gas thrown by Israeli police officers outside Jerusalem's Old City. U.S. officials say President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday, Dec. 6, and instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. His decision could have deep repercussions across the region. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

The Associated Press

America's friends and foes unleashed fierce criticism on Wednesday ahead of President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

While Israel welcomed the news, Palestinian officials declared the Mideast peace process "finished" and Turkey announced it would host a meeting of Islamic nations next week to give Muslim countries' leaders an opportunity to coordinate a response. The Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting on Saturday.

The harsh global reaction cast questions about the feasibility of a brewing U.S. peace plan that is expected to be presented by the White House in the near future.

The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state and fear that Trump's declaration essentially imposes on them a disastrous solution for one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"There is no way that there can be talks with the Americans. The peace process is finished. They have already pre-empted the outcome," said Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi. "They cannot take us for granted."

The U.S. decision "destroys the peace process," added Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Top Palestinian officials were meeting Wednesday to plot their course forward.

U.S. officials said late Tuesday that Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. Trump was expected to unveil his plan in a speech later Wednesday.

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Facebook that "Our historical national identity is receiving important expressions everyday." He said he would comment further later in the day.ng to the officials, who said Trump has been receptive to some of their concerns.

Trump has spoken of his desire to broker a "deal of the century" that would end Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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