- US Marines, Israeli troops bracing for violence
In a momentous shift of United States foreign policy in the Middle East, President Donald Trump is set to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and initiate the process of relocating the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv, according to senior administration officials.
The president is expected to officially announce the policy changes in remarks at the White House at 1pm on Wednesday.
A U.S. official and a source close to the White House told ABC News that official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital is expected to be intentionally broad and not meant to preclude the possibility that the Palestinians could claim part of the historic city as a capital of a future Palestinian state. The president does not want to “prejudice” the outcome of any future peace negotiations for a two-state solution, one source familiar with the plan told ABC News.
Meanwhile, U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) have bolstered security across “several” U.S. embassies in the Middle East ahead of the expected announcement Wednesday by President Donald Trump about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — as well as mulling whether to recognize Jerusalem officially as the Israeli capital.
Israeli security officials say they’re also preparing for a potential outbreak of violence. “We understand that in any moment the order that we have achieved could change,” said Jerusalem District Police Commander Major Gen. Yoram Halvy about the potential outbreak of violence with moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city. “Any second this place could be set on fire.”
Jerusalem’s status long has been a flash point in the Arab-Israeli conflict, with both Palestinians and Israelis claiming the city as their capital. In 1995, Congress passed a law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but allowed U.S. presidents to sign a six-month waiver postponing the move to entice both Israeli and Palestinians to the negotiating table.
Abc with additional report from Fox