23:57 GMT +318 September 2018
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    A general view of The Dome of the Rock Mosque at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, known by the Jews as the Temple Mount, is seen from the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem. (File)

    Arab League, Palestinians Warn US Against Recognizing Jerusalem Israeli Capital

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    The stern warning came a day after a senior White House official said that President Donald Trump planned to make a pertinent announcement sometime next week.

    Any move by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would “fuel extremism,” increase instability and derail the peace process, the leaders of the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority said.

    On Monday, Trump is also expected to decide on the renewal of a six-month waiver on the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    “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,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul  Gheit  said in a statement.

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

    For his part, Mahmoud Habash, one of the top advisors to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, warned on Saturday that “the world will pay the price” for any change in the status of Jerusalem, and that its recognition as the capital of the Jewish State was fraught with “complete destruction of the peace process.”

    On Saturday, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas likewise urged Washington to give up on its planned relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

    "This would represent a US assault on the city and give legitimacy to [Israel] over the city," Hamas said in a statement.

    The international community does not recognize Israel's claim to the entire city, largely considering East Jerusalem, including the Old City, to be part of Palestine.

    Jerusalem is sacred for the followers of three major religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

    At the heart of the dispute is the legal status of East Jerusalem. Israel proclaimed its ownership over East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War Israel fought with Egypt and Syria in in 1967, a move that has not been recognized by the majority of UN states and international organizations.

    As the political status of Jerusalem has not been recognized internationally, there are no foreign embassies located in Jerusalem.

    READ MORE: Trump Expected to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Next Week — Reports

    Palestinians want to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip, and want Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it seized during the Six-Day War.

    In 1980, the Israeli Parliament passed the Jerusalem Law declaring Jerusalem the unified capital of Israel. The action has not been recognized by any other country, including the United States.

    Related:

    Hamas Warns US Against Relocating Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
    Trump Expected to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Next Week - Reports
    Tags:
    status, Jerusalem, warning, announcement, Arab League, Mahmoud Habash, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Donald Trump, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Israel
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