President Trump has plans to announce his formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and his plan to move the American Embassy there in the future, the New York Times reports.
His decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from its current location in Tel Aviv, would make him the first U.S. president since Israel's founding in 1948 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and according to experts, could threaten to worsen already-hostile Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
As the Times reports, the POTUS is being faced with a bi-annual deadline that requires him to sign a national security waiver that keeps the American Embassy in Tel Aviv for six months — and while he still plans to sign it this time around, Trump administration officials say he will announce his plan to eventually move the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday. Though the process would realistically take several years, moving the embassy was one of Trump's major campaign promises.
So why is this such a big deal? For starters, both Israel and Palestine lay claim to Jerusalem. Although Israel has remained in control of it since 1967, most members of the United Nations don't recognize it as being part of Israel. Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would go completely against decades of U.S. foreign policy, which has previously said Israel and Palestine should decide who controls the city for themselves.
According to the Huffington Post Trump has already received backlash regarding his decision from multiple world leaders including Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Many experts say the announcement could have dangerous consequences, possibly inciting violence in the region and endangering American troops and diplomats stationed in Middle Eastern countries.