The United States officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will start the process of relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, US President Donald Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump stated. Trump added, "Consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."
"Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital," the U.S. leader declared from the White House. "Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace."
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 said Trump's decision opens "the gates of hell on US interests in the region."
STATE DEPT. TO BEGIN IMPLEMENTING TRUMP'S DECISION
The Department of State will start the process of relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem without any delay as directed by Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The State Department will immediately begin the process to implement this decision by starting the preparations to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Tillerson said in the statement. "The safety of Americans is the State Department’s highest priority, and in concert with other federal agencies, we’ve implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions."