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    A view of Jerusalem Old City seen from Mount of Olives, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

    Ankara: US Decision to Open Embassy in Jerusalem in May Damages Peace

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    The US State Department has announced that Washington will open a new embassy in Jerusalem that was recognized by the incumbent Trump Administration as the capital of Israel, on May 14, 2018, the date that will mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Jewish state.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday slammed the US announcement of the relocation of its embassy in Jerusalem as damaging to peace between Israelis and Palestinians and described the step as "extremely worrying."

    "The US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May violates UN Security Council resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem and well-established UN parameters, and demonstrates the intention of the United States to undermine peace," the ministry's statement read.

    The State Department on Friday confirmed the opening of a new embassy, calling it a "historic step," months after President Donald Trump vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the ancient city that the US administration also recognized as the capital of Israel.

    READ MORE: 'US Will Dominate' Potential Body for Resolving Israel-Palestine Conflict — Prof

    Tensions over Trump's decision, especially in the Muslim world, have been brewing since the initial announcement of the embassy's relocation in early December 2017, with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas saying the US could no longer mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The Hamas movement, which is classified as a terrorist organization in the US and Israel, has announced the beginning of the third intifada, a Palestinian uprising against the US decision. The massive protests were held in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem with demonstrators eventually clashing with the Israeli security forces.

    Participants in a protest in Palestine against the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
    © Sputnik / Issam Al-Rimawi
    Participants in a protest in Palestine against the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

    Shortly after the announcement, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hosted a summit of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where the leaders of participating countries harshly criticized the US actions.

    The UN General Assembly has also adopted a resolution, calling on UN member states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem amid Trump's announcement.

    Palestinian protesters step on US and Israeli flags and on a portrait of US President Donald Trump following his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City
    © AFP 2019 / MOHAMMED ABED
    Palestinian protesters step on US and Israeli flags and on a portrait of US President Donald Trump following his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City

    The city of Jerusalem is one of the cornerstones of the decades-long standoff between Israelis and Palestinians over sovereignty and borders. While Israelis took control of the city during the Six Day War in 1967 and later declared it the capital of Israel, Palestinians are seeking to make East Jerusalem the capital of their own independent state.

    Related:

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    Decision on Interim Facility for US Embassy in Jerusalem Not Taken Yet – DoS
    Netanyahu: US Embassy to Be Moved to Jerusalem 'Much Faster Than People Think'
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    relocation, embassy, Donald Trump, Palestine, Israel, United States
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