Violence breaks out on West Bank as Hamas calls for an uprising and Turkey warns Trump has 'pulled the pin on a bomb' after the president recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital
- US President Donald Trump sparked fury across the Middle East by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital?
- Palestinian protesters seen hurling rocks while Israeli troops fired teared gas to disperse crowds in Bethlehem
- Pro-Hezbollah newspaper al-Akhbar carried front page saying 'Death to America' along with a burning US flag
- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said America had 'pulled the pin on a bomb ready to blow in the region'
- Hamas called for 'days of rage' and a new 'intifada' uprising after saying Trump had 'opened the gates of hell'
- Israeli military are to deploy extra troops to the West Bank with mass Palestinian protests expected on Friday?
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims other states are now considering following America's lead?
Palestinians torched debris and hurled rocks towards Israeli troops who fired tear gas and water cannons?to disperse a demonstration in Bethlehem.
Medics said 31 people have been injured by Israeli army gunfire during clashes in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip with rallies underway in the cities of Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah.?In Hebron and Al-Bireh, thousands of demonstrators marched with chants of 'Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine', witnesses said.
It comes after Trump sparked fury with his White House announcement yesterday, which changed decades of American policy and sparked warnings from Hamas of a new intifada, or uprising, against Israel.
Amid growing fears of fresh bloodshed in the region, the Islamist group said the President had 'opened the gates of hell' with his 'flagrant aggression' while a pro-Hezbollah newspaper in Lebanon has declared 'Death to America' on a front page showing a burning US flag.?
This morning, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Trump of throwing the Middle East into a 'ring of fire' and compared him to a 'blender' stirring up trouble in the area. The Country's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the US?'has pulled the pin on a bomb ready to blow in the region.'
President Erdogan spoke to Pope Francis on the phone and the pair agreed there should be no attempts to change Jerusalem's status.
'Emphasising that Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, President Erdogan and Pope Francis stated that any attempt to change the city's status should be avoided,' sources in the President's office said.
Russia said today that it viewed Trump's move with 'serious concern' and will criticise the new stance at the UN Security Council. Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the new stance as 'not helpful' while?France rejected the 'unilateral' decision and Germany said Jerusalem's status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Trump had 'bound himself forever' to the history of Jerusalem with his announcement and claimed other states are now considering following the US lead.?
Violent protests have broken out in Bethlehem (pictured) today after US President Donald Trump enraged the Middle East by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Footage shows Palestinians burning tyres and hurling rocks towards Israeli troops who fired off tear gas to disperse the demonstration in the city
Boiling over: Rallies are also underway in the West Bank cities of Hebron, Ramallah (pictured), Nablus and Jenin
Furious Palestinian protesters could be seen burning an effigy of Donald Trump in the West Bank city of Nablus this morning
A Palestinian protester prepares to hurl a rock at Israeli troops during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah this morning
Palestinian protesters step on US and Israeli flags and on a portrait of US President Donald Trump in Gaza City today
Protesters burned tyres and hurled rocks at troops in Ramallah today as tensions mounted over Donald Trump's new stance on Jerusalem
Violence: There were clashes on the streets of Ramallah as protesters hurled rocks and Israeli troops responded with tear gas
Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capitol on Wednesday and launched a process to move the U.S. embassy there, casting his decision as an act of political courage
Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli forces near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Ramallah this morning
The Israeli army said it retaliated after a 'projectile' fired from Gaza hit its territory, blaming Hamas, which called for an intifada.
'A short while ago, a projectile was fired from northern Gaza & exploded in southern Israel,' the Israel Defence Forces said on its official Twitter account.
'In response to that fire & the projectiles fired at Israel throughout the day that fell short in Gaza, an IDF tank & an IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft targeted two terror posts in Gaza.'
The military said Hamas was 'responsible for the hostile activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip' which the Islamist movement controls.?
A senior Palestinian official said US Vice President Mike Pence was 'not welcome in Palestine' during his upcoming regional visit.
'The American vice president is not welcome in Palestine,' Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah, said.
Rajoub also signalled that Abbas would not meet with Pence during his planned visit later this month.
'And President Abbas will not welcome him because of the statements he made' about Jerusalem.
Abbas has not made similar comments and his office could not immediately be reached.
The White House warned Thursday that cancelling a planned meeting between Abbas and Pence in the wake of the US policy shift on Jerusalem would be 'counterproductive'.??
Pence is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories sometime before Christmas.???
As spontaneous protests broke out in Gaza overnight, the Israeli military said it would deploy several battalions to the West Bank ahead of Friday, while other troops have been put on alert to address 'possible developments.'??
Netanyahu said this morning that 'we are already in contact with other states that will make a similar recognition.'
The Israeli army said it retaliated after a 'projectile' fired from Gaza hit its territory, blaming Hamas, which called for an intifada. Pictured: A rioter burning a tyre in Ramallah
The army statement on Thursday says it will deploy several battalions to the territory while other troops have been put on alert to address 'possible developments.' Pictured: An Israeli soldier in Ramallah?
A protester runs as Israeli security forces intervene with teargas during a protest against the US President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Palestinian Charge d'Affaires Feda Abdelhady-Nasser said in a letter to the UN Security Council president that Trump's declaration violates numerous council resolutions and could lead to 'a never-ending religious war.' Pictured: Flag-burning in Gaza City
Egyptian protesters burn an Israeli flag during a demonstration against the US president's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
This morning, two senior White House officials admitted Trump's move could temporarily derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Pictured: A protester poses for the camera during a demonstration in Gaza?
Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian people 'know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries.' Pictured: Protesters starting fires in Gaza?
President Trump recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital yesterday - a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East. Pictured: Israeli troops in Jerusalem?
He says the 'time has come' and expressed confidence that others will follow suit and move their embassies to Jerusalem.
Last night, he hailed the move as 'historic' and said any peace deal with the Palestinians must concede that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. ?
Meanwhile, the Israeli military said it will be deploying additional troops to the West Bank ahead of Friday, when mass Palestinian protests are anticipated in response to Trump's move.
The army statement on Thursday says it will deploy several battalions to the territory while other troops have been put on alert to address 'possible developments.'
Palestinians went on strike across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip on Thursday and protests are expected on Friday after midday prayers.?
Palestinian Charge d'Affaires Feda Abdelhady-Nasser said in a letter to the UN Security Council president that Trump's declaration violates numerous council resolutions and could lead to 'a never-ending religious war.'
The letter cites several council resolutions that prohibit changes to the status of Jerusalem.
Abdelhady-Nasser urged the Security Council to send 'a clear message' reaffirming relevant laws and resolutions and 'opposing this unilateral and provocative decision.'
She warned that disregarding 'these fundamental legal, political and religious dimensions of the question of Jerusalem can only aggravate already heightened tensions.'
Trump's decision could lead to the 'exacerbation of religious sensitivities that risk transforming this solvable political-territorial conflict into a never-ending religious war, which will only be exploited by religious extremists, fueling radicalism and strife in the region and beyond,' Abdelhady-Nasser warned.
The Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on Trump's announcement on Friday.??
This morning, two senior White House officials admitted Trump's move could temporarily derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.?
According to?CNN, one of the unnamed sources said the President's peace team had not spoken to angry Palestinian officials since the announcement but that they were 'pretty sure' that 'derailment' of the peace process would be 'temporary'.
One official said: 'A lot of people put their heads into this decision to see how do we make this happen without at the same time throwing the peace process out of the window,'
The second added: 'In terms of a moment where it could happen, where it could be the least disruptive at a moment in time, this is the moment. We know there will be some short term pain, but think it will help in the long run.'?
Clashes: Footage from Bethlehem shows protesters and Israel security forces facing off amid tensions over Trump's Jerusalem stance
Israeli forces used water cannons and tear gas as they dispersed crowds of protesters in the biblical town of Bethlehem this afternoon
Response: Police used tear gas to disperse crowds as tensions grew on the streets of Bethlehem this afternoon
Patrol: An Israeli officer carrying a weapon walks close to Palestinian demonstrators during a day of tension on Bethlehem
Israeli border police load tear gas in Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinians during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
Israeli forces were called in to disperse Palestinian protestors outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City this morning amid rising tensions following Trump's announcement
Trump set off protests throughout the Middle East on Wednesday as he announced that America formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Anger: There were demonstrations in Gaza City overnight against Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
This morning, two senior White House officials admitted Trump's move could temporarily derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Pictured: Demonstrations on Gaza City overnight
Demonstrators in Gaza City burned tyres, shouted slogans and held posters of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during a protest against US President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital
This was the scene overnight as demonstrators hurled tyres on to a fire in protest against Donald Trump's announcement yesterday
A masked Palestinian takes part in a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip this morning
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Donald Trump of throwing the Middle East into a 'ring of fire' by declaring the divided holy city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Lebanon's al-Akhbar paper today called the decision 'America's new Balfour' referring to the Balfour Declaration in which Britain endorsed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East a century ago. Its front page and website declared 'Death to America' and showed a burning US flag
In a speech in Washington, Trump said his announcement marked the beginning of a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip, urged Arabs and Muslims to 'undermine the US interests in the region' and to 'shun Israel.'
Hamas political leader?Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian people 'know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries.'
He added that the decision 'will not change the facts of history and geography.'?
President Trump recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital yesterday - a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East.
'Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital,' the US leader declared from the White House. 'Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.'
'It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,' Trump said, urging calm and 'the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.'
The declaration - met by fierce regional condemnation - ends seven decades of deliberate diplomatic ambiguity about the final status of a holy city vociferously claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
Although welcomed by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a 'courageous and just decision,' Trump's move also left the already faltering peace process in deep doubt.
Rallies were underway on Thursday in the West Bank cities of Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and Bethlehem. A demonstration was also being held outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City. Palestinians have called a general strike on Thursday and are preparing for more mass protests on Friday
Flash point: Israeli forces take position during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the West Bank village of?Betunia near Ramallah today
Israeli and American flags were torched by protesters outside the UN's UNSCO headquarters in Gaza City this morning
Tensions: Israeli forces pass by two women as they disperse Palestinian protesters outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City today
Taking a stand:?Supporters of a Pakistani religious party chant anti-American slogans during a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan today amid an international outcry over Trump's stance on Jerusalem
Hundreds of Palestinians are protesting in cities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip against President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Mahmud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization said Trump has destroyed the two-state solution, warning the United States could no longer hope to be a peace broker, while Hamas - the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip - said Trump's decision opens 'the gates of hell on US interests in the region.'
Making the announcement, Trump also kicked off the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
That makes good on a campaign promise dear to evangelical Christian and right wing Jewish voters - as well as donors - in what he said marked the start of a 'new approach' to solving the thorny Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump's predecessors - from Bill Clinton to George Bush - made similar campaign promises. But they quickly reneged upon taking office and assuming the burden of war and peace.
Having taken office with no foreign policy experience and denouncing experts, Trump was determined to show his arrival in Washington spells the end of business as usual.
'Many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn't do it,' Trump said in the run-up to his historic address.
'Whether it's courage or they changed their mind, I can't tell you,' he said. 'I think it's long overdue.'
TRUMP SETS OFF CONDEMNATION WORLDWIDE...
'I'm intending to speak to President Trump about this matter. Our position has not changed, it has been a long standing one and it is also a very clear one. It is that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement.' British Prime Minister Theresa May?
'These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts.'?Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas
'This decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region.' Hamas official Ismail Radwan
Trump's move plunges the United States into a decades-long dispute over a city considered holy by Jews, Muslims and Christians, and flies in the face of warnings from US allies and enemies across the Middle East
In a frantic series of calls, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the European Union, France, Germany and Turkey all warned Trump against the move. Pictured: Trump making the speech yesterday
The move will have 'dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region and efforts to attain peace'. King Abdullah of Jordan
'This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council.' French President Emmanuel Macron?
'I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.'?U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres?
'We call upon the U.S. Administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem.' Turkey's Foreign Ministry??
'Death sentence for all who seek peace.' Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani
'I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts.' Pope Francis?
'That they claim they want to announce [Jerusalem] as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,' –Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei?????
'The aspirations of both parties must be fulfilled and a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states.' European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini
The announcement leaves many angry US allies and leaders across the Middle East trying to find a measured response and hoping that the tinderbox region is not destined for yet another round of bloodshed.
Saudi Arabia's royal court, led by King Salman and his powerful son, today condemned the Trump administration's decision in?a rare public rebuke by the royal court of their US ally.
Saudi Arabia, a regional powerhouse that could help the White House push through a Middle East settlement, said on Thursday the kingdom had already warned against this step and 'continues to express its deep regret at the U.S. administration's decision,' describing it as 'unjustified and irresponsible.'
Trump's move puts the Sunni nation in a bind. The kingdom, particularly its powerful crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, enjoys close relations with Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Iraq's senior shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also joined the condemnation today.
'This decision is condemned and decried, it hurt the feelings of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims,' said a statement from Sistani's office.
'But it won't change the reality that Jerusalem is an occupied land which should return to the sovereignty of its Palestinian owners no matter how long it takes,' it said, calling on the 'Umma', or Islamic nation, 'to combine its efforts that purpose.'
There were angry scenes in the West Bank city of Nablus as protesters shouted anti-Trump slogans and waved placards
A group of men torched an effigy of Donald Trump amid angry scenes in the West Bank city of Nablus this morning
Hundreds of Palestinians are protesting in cities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip against President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Palestinians burn posters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump, during a protest in Gaza City
Children in Islamabad, Pakistan?stand on U.S. and Israeli flags during a protest following Donald Trump's announcement that he has recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured) said Trump had 'bound himself forever' to the history of Jerusalem with his announcement and claimed other states are now considering following the U.S. lead
Iraq's Foreign Ministry has also summoned the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad to hand him a memo protesting against Trump's decision.?
In Afghanistan, the?Taliban denounced Trump's decision as a 'reckless step' and said it will 'fan the flames of conflict in the entire world especially the Middle East'.
A Taliban statement to the media on Thursday says that with the decision, America exposed its 'colonialist face and declared enmity toward Islam as well as support for policy of occupation and colonisation of Muslim lands.'
The statement also called on Muslims world over and Islamic countries to back the 'oppressed Palestinian nation'.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, meanwhile, says his government is 'deeply concerned' over Trump's move which 'hurts the sentiments of the entire Islamic world.'
US Embassies across much of the Middle East and parts of Africa have warned American citizens of possible protests as a result of Trump's decision.
The leaders of Muslim nations have deployed ever-harsher rhetoric to describe Trump's decision, dashing any hope of a muted response that would help avoid clashes. Turkey called the decision 'irresponsible' and illegal.
In a frantic series of calls, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the European Union, France, Germany and Turkey had warned Trump against the move. Pope Francis joined a list of leaders warning of a historic misstep.
Protest: Boys joined protesters during a demonstration this morning in Gaza City amid fury over Donald Trump's decision?
There have been no signs of serious violence so far. But Friday, the Muslim holy day, could provide an important test when Palestinians gather for weekly mass prayers
Spontaneous protests sparked in Gaza overnight, with angry youths burning tires, American and Israeli flags and Trump posters
A Palestinian man walks in front of closed shops in the West Bank city of Hebron this morning. Palestinians announced a general strike and a 'rage day' as a protest against US President DonaldTrump's declaration recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
'I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days,' the pontiff said Wednesday.
In Brussels, the EU's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Trump's stance?could take the region 'backwards to even darker times'.
'President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact. It is a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we're already living in,' he said.
But this morning,?U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded to global criticism by saying that the U.S. President is merely recognising reality.
Speaking in Vienna, he said the US would still support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 'if that's the desire of the two parties.'
He said Jerusalem's final status is still for Israelis and Palestinians to workout and that 'the whole world' wants a peace process.
Moving the US embassy will probably take years to implement, but the repercussions of Trump's decision preceded even his announcement.
Palestinian terrorist group Hamas warned the announcement 'opens the gates of hell on US interests in the region'. Pictured:?Palestinian protesters burn the American flag and Israeli flag in the city of Gaza City
Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh (pictured) said the Palestinian people 'know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries'
The Turkish foreign ministry added in a statement that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can only be solved through the creation of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Pictured: Protests in Istanbul
An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man holds a shofar (ram's horn) with the golden Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine behind
A Turkish government spokesman said the decision was 'irresponsible' and illegal. Pictured: Protesters in Gaza attack the move?
Criticism poured in from Tehran and Ankara to war-ravaged Syria and Pope Francis, reflecting the anxiety surrounding the announcement, which upends decades of US policy. Pictured:?Palestinian women shout slogans during a protest in Gaza City
Hundreds of Palestinians burned US and Israeli flags as well as pictures of Trump in the Gaza Strip, while relatively small clashes erupted near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.
Palestinians called for three days of protests - or 'days of rage' - starting Wednesday.
US government officials and their families were ordered to avoid Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank, though the situation remained largely calm up until Trump's address.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called for a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the main pan-Islamic body, in Istanbul next week to display joint action over Jerusalem.
Jordan and the Palestinians also called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League.
Most of the international community does not formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, insisting the issue can only be resolved in negotiations - a point reiterated by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the wake of Trump's decision.
Guterres implicitly criticized Trump, stressing his opposition to 'any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace.'
A child holds a Palestinian flag as he chants slogans during a sit-in in the Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp, in Beirut, Lebanon
A woman chants slogans during a sit-in in the Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon
But Trump insisted the move did not prejudge final talks, saying it simply reflected the reality that west Jerusalem is and will continue to be part of Israel under any settlement.
'This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do,' Trump said.
'Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it,' said the US leader, who declared that 'this decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace.'
'The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides,' Trump said, as he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would travel to the region in the coming days.
Trump further stated that the United States was not taking a position on any 'final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders.'
'Those questions are up to the parties involved.'
How Trump was making good on 2016 campaign pledge
President Donald Trump's move to recognise the divided city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital may have triggered a worldwide chorus of critics but the president had his ears closely tuned to his supporters at home.
For Trump, the proclamation was an important way to make good on a pledge to his political base, which includes evangelical Christians and pro-Israel Republicans eager for such a move.
'While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver,' the president declared Wednesday in announcing his decision. 'Today, I am delivering.'
Those were words to savor for a president who's been frustrated to see a number of key campaign pledges stalled or slowed - sometimes by a bitterly divided Congress, some by larger national or international concerns.
Repealing the Obama era health care law is a promise unfulfilled, much to Trump's frustration. Withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement remains in his TBD column. And Congress has yet to approve money Trump has requested for his promised border wall.
'Today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel's capital; this is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do,' Trump said
The president counts the successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch as a key victory. And he has acted on certain other campaign pledges with some caveats: He refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal, but left the matter of new sanctions to Congress. He pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement but left open the possibility of rejoining it later. And he ordered an end to a program protecting young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as kids, but gave Congress six months to find a way to protect them from deportation.
On Jerusalem, Trump had pledged during the 2016 campaign to recognize Israel's claim to the city and to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv. He's now checked that box - although he offered no timeline for the embassy relocation and signed a waiver officially delaying any move for six months.
Steve Bannon, the president's former chief strategist, repeatedly counseled the president to take the step as a means of holding to his campaign promise and energizing evangelical voters.
Observers were divided on how to score the president's action.
'If I were keeping score, I would rate this as fulfilling a campaign promise,' said Bill Galston, a former Clinton administration official now at the Brookings Institution. 'Any move is significant and the world is right to regard it as a serious step.'
But Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University, saw Trump's words about the embassy as 'just a grandiose statement on Jerusalem without a line in the sand.'
A host of world leaders had urged Trump in advance to reconsider his decision, warning that the action could have serious and immediate consequences in the tinder box of the Middle East.
Trump spoke to cameras in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House, surrounded by Christmas trees as he spoke about tensions between Muslims and Jews
But after Trump announced his plans from a White House room laden with Christmas decorations, his backers gleefully heralded the move.
An email from Trump's campaign operation trumpeted: 'Jerusalem: Another Promise Made and Promise Kept.' And conservative faith leader Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said in a statement that Trump 'continues to deliver on his promise to the American people to strengthen the solidarity between the United States and the people of Israel.'
Critics warned the consequences could be dire, arguing that the move could inflame tensions in the volatile region and complicate Mideast peace efforts.
'My hope is it doesn't change much, and we have a couple days of protest,' said Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
Aaron David Miller, a Middle East expert at the Wilson Center who has advised Republican and Democratic presidents, called the announcement a 'triumph of domestic politics and personal ego' over 'sound foreign policy.'
Trump insisted he was not trying to derail a peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians. He repeated the U.S. position that Jerusalem's borders must still be worked out through negotiation, saying he wants 'an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians.'
The president hasn't hesitated to assess his first year in office as a banner success, pointing to promises kept, such as the installation of Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
During a recent speech in Missouri, Trump said: 'I will tell you this in a non-braggadocios way. There has never been a 10-month president that has accomplished what we have accomplished.'
Trump's critics see bold words, but said he often delivers half-measures or rhetoric.
'What he does is he wants to give the perception of campaign promises filled,' said Brinkley. 'It's making people feel there's activity and boldness going on. But what it is is rhetorical boldness.'
Israel seized the largely Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, claiming both sides of the city as its capital.
The Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
Trump was pushed to act on the embassy as a result of a 1995 law, which stated that the city 'should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel' and the US embassy be moved there.
A waiver has been invoked by successive US presidents, postponing the move on grounds of 'national security' once every six months, meaning the law has never taken effect.
Several peace plans have unravelled in the past decades over the issue of how to divide sovereignty or oversee holy sites in Jerusalem.?
Why is Jerusalem important, what makes Donald Trump's intervention so toxic and does anyone else recognise the city as Israel's capital?: SAM GREENHILL explores why today's announcement is so incendiary?
What is the status of Jerusalem?
Israel set up its parliament in West Jerusalem when the state of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. The move followed the United Nations' vote to partition Palestine on the basis of the British pledge known as the Balfour Declaration that paved the way for a homeland for the Jewish people.
Israel occupied 78 per cent of the land, with the remaining 22 per cent split between Gaza and the West Bank.
Then, in 1967, during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli war, Israel annexed Arab-controlled East Jerusalem, including the Old City. Israel has claimed ever since that both parts of the city are its 'undivided' capital.
However, Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital. Most countries, including Britain, do not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Why is Jerusalem so important to both sides?
Chiefly because of its religious history. The Temple Mount in the Old City is the most sacred place in Judaism — the site of Solomon's Temple said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant and destroyed in 586 BC by King of Babylon.
The site is also the third holiest shrine in Islam, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif ('Noble Sanctuary'). It was the scene of Prophet Muhammad's 'Night Journey' ascension from Earth to Heaven in 621. The compound includes Islamic shrines the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The city is also sacred to Christians — Jesus attended a temple in the Old City and was crucified on a hill outside its walls. But it also has hugely important implications for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
What has Donald Trump done and why is his intervention so toxic?
Until now, peacemakers have pursued the strategy that Jerusalem would be part of an overall negotiated settlement, with its status decided in the latter stages of peace talks, with agreement on both sides. But if America jumps to a conclusion on the city's status now — and takes Israel's side — many fear it will undermine the chances of a peace deal. It could also damage America's position as an 'honest broker' between the two sides.
It does not take much to spark violence in the Middle East. In 2000, the Second Intifada — two bloody years of Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military killings — started after a visit by the then leader of the Israeli opposition, Ariel Sharon, to the Old City site.
The Temple Mount in the Old City is the most sacred place in Judaism — the site of Solomon's Temple said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant and destroyed in 586 BC by King of Babylon.?The compound includes Islamic shrines the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque
How can the status of Jerusalem be peacefully resolved?
Jerusalem is described as the most intractable part of the world's most intractable conflict. But one of the main planks of the peace process is a two-state solution — in which Jerusalem would serve as capital of both states: East Jerusalem for Palestine, West Jerusalem for Israel.
About a third of the people living in Jerusalem are Palestinians. An uneasy co-existence is lived out day-to-day, under the watchful eyes of clusters of armed Israeli police.
Though there is generally free movement around the divided capital, Israeli security forces set up checkpoints to seal off Palestinian neighbourhoods in times of tension, such as a wave of stabbings in 2015.
Since 1967, Israel has built a dozen settlements, home to about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem. These are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
Jerusalem is governed by a mayor and city council whose members are elected to four-year terms. Palestinian Arabs living in East Jerusalem have the right to vote in Israeli elections, but most refuse to do so.
Mr Trump could now have catastrophically undermined his own Middle East strategy of trying to forge peace — not just between Israel and Palestinians, but also between Israel and Saudi Arabia's Sunni Muslims
How does Trump justify moving the U.S. embassy?
The U.S. embassy is currently in Tel Aviv. To move it to Jerusalem would be a powerfully symbolic and inflammatory gesture in support of Israel and in defiance of Palestinians.
But technically Trump has a legal framework: in 1995, amid lobbying from pro-Israel Americans, the Republican-controlled Congress passed a law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which instructs the President to move the embassy. But all Presidents since Bill Clinton have signed a waiver every six months to prevent that happening.
So why has he done this now?
Mr Trump's move seems driven not by diplomatic calculations, but by a campaign promise and his current low ratings.
In 2016, he appealed to Christian evangelicals and ardently pro-Israel American Jews by vowing to move the embassy. His pledge was extremely popular with these voters, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who donated $25 million to the Trump cause. Mr Adelson expressed anger when Mr Trump signed the waiver in June to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv. Advisers said this week Mr Trump was making good on his promise.
Why are all the Arab countries so hostile to the move?
Opinion polls show that at least 90 per cent of Arabs view Israel as their main enemy. So no Arab regime can risk provoking internal political upheaval by appearing to side with the U.S.
Mr Trump could now have catastrophically undermined his own Middle East strategy of trying to forge peace — not just between Israel and Palestinians, but also between Israel and Saudi Arabia's Sunni Muslims.
He wants the Saudis to take on and curb the growing influence of Iran's Shia Muslims — the Sunni's mortal enemies — and their allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The Saudis could now be forced to abandon their gradual clandestine move towards open acceptance of the Jewish state.
Opinion polls show that at least 90 per cent of Arabs view Israel as their main enemy. So no Arab regime can risk provoking internal political upheaval by appearing to side with the U.S
Do other countries recognise Jerusalem as the capital?
The world — including China — is virtually united in not recognising Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its undivided capital.
One exception is the Pacific island of Vanuatu, which recognised it in May this year. Its late president, Baldwin Lonsdale, was an evangelical Christian who was described as having 'a strong connection to the Jewish people and to Israel'.
Taiwan also considers Jerusalem as Israel's capital. However, Israel does not even recognise Taiwan as a country.
Russia's position is slightly ambiguous but seems to leave room for the city to be Israel's capital in the event of a peace deal.
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