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Growing backlash after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

World leaders have rushed to condemn President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with many fearing the move will lead to violent clashes.

Presidents and prime ministers from across the globe warned Mr Trump against moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Some think the decision could lead to a third Intifada and the kiss-of-death for the peace process.

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Iraq has demanded the US reverses the decision, Saudi Arabia has called the move “irresponsible” and has warned there will be violence – and Turkey’s president Erdogan has said President Trump has put the region into a “ring of fire”.

Islamist group Hamas said the decision “opened the gates of hell” on US interests in the Middle East.

Iran warned it would “provoke Muslims” and lead to an “increase in radical, angry and violent behaviour”.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement: “We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement.

“Our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”

US President Donald Trump declared the US was recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Jerusalem move ‘a recognition of reality’

France’s president Emmanuel Macron told reporters: “This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the UN Security Council.”

President Trump however, has insisted his decision is simply “recognition of reality” and “the right thing to do”.

Overturning decades of US policy, Mr Trump declared: “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital.

“Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.”

Palestinian demonstrators burned the US flag in Bethlehem's Manger Square
Palestinian demonstrators burn the US flag in Bethlehem

Changes around the sensitive city of Jerusalem – a holy site for Muslims, Jews and Christians – risk scuppering the fledgling Arab-Israeli peace agreement brokered by Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The President’s declaration was met with anger from the Arab world.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the US move, calling Jerusalem the “eternal capital of the state of Palestine”.

Egypt’s foreign ministry also rejected the US President’s declaration.

ISRAEL - Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanks Donald Trump

The decision has been largely welcomed in Israel, which has long considered Jerusalem to be its capital, after it annexed the Old City in 1967.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, praised America’s “courageous and just decision” and said it was a “historic day”.

He said: “President Trump bound himself forever with the history of our capital.”

And Mr Netanyahu went on: “His name will now be proudly displayed alongside other names in the city’s glorious history.”

Following the decision, American government personnel have been warned to avoid The Old City and the West Bank until further notice.

An updated “Worldwide Caution” has also been issued to US citizens abroad, advising them to “be alert to the possibility of political unrest, violence, demonstrations, and criminal activities.”

The UN Security Council has called an emergency meeting for tomorrow.

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