President Donald Trump has announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“This is nothing more or less than the recognition of reality,” Trump said in a speech announcing the United States’ view about the contentious move on Wednesday.
He reiterated that the United States was still committed to the Middle East peace process and that it would support the two-state solution.
He expressed confidence that disagreements over the city would be resolved.
He said Vice President Pence would travel to Jerusalem in days coming, and that the United States Embassy would be relocated from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
However, before Trump’s pronouncement on Wednesday, here are five things to know about the city
1. Under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1947, Jerusalem was envisaged to become a corpus separatum (Latin for ‘Separate body’) administered by the United Nations. The plan failed.
2. In 1995, the United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which required, subject to conditions, that its embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But past U.S. presidents have argued that Congressional resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem are merely advisory. The Constitution reserves foreign relations as an executive power, and as such, the United States embassy is still in Tel Aviv. That may soon change.
3. Israel and Palestine both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as the State of Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there while the State of Palestine foresees the city as its seat of power. Neither claim was widely recognised internationally until Trump’s proclamation on Wednesday.
4. Various countries maintain consulates-general in Jerusalem. These operate in a unique way, at great variance with the normal diplomatic practice. The countries which maintain these consulates do not regard them as diplomatic missions to Israel or the Palestinian Authority, but as diplomatic missions to Jerusalem.
5. The armistice line drawn at the end of the 1948 war divided Jerusalem into two. Between 1949 and 1967, Israel controlled the western part of Jerusalem, while Jordan took the eastern part, including the old walled city containing important Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites.