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Pope Francis opposes Trump plan to move embassy to Jerusalem

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Experts think move will not harm long term prospects for peace.

President Trump is announcing that the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel will soon be moved to Jerusalem, which is the actual capital of Israel. The move has been condemned by the Palestinians and several regional governments but is welcomed by Israel. Pope Francis has expressed concern the move will impact prospects for peace in the region and has called for the U.S. to maintain the status quo. 

President Trump has announced the U.S. embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Trump has announced the U.S. embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/6/2017 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Pope Francis, President Trump, Jerusalem, embassy

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - President Trump has ordered the U.S. embassy in Israel to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move has been broadly condemned by several national governments and Pope Francis has called for the U.S. to maintain the status quo. Palestinians are furious over the announcement. 

The U.S. has long planned to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but the move has been indefinitely delayed due to concerns it could harm the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. A law mandating the move was passed in 1995. 

 Christians, Jews, and Muslims all regard Jerusalem as a holy city. For Muslims, Jerusalem is where Mohammed ascended into heaven. The Palestinians inhabited much of Jerusalem until after World War II. The United Nations and the British government resettled millions of Jews, displaced by the Holocaust in Israel. In many cases, this resettlement displaced the Palestinians. The state of Israel was established, thus creating a Jewish state where previously only Muslims, and for a short time, Europeans had ruled. 

For Palestinians, the movement of the embassy is offensive since it affirms Israel's establishment of a capital in Jerusalem, which is a Muslim holy city. 

Pope Francis has officially called for President Trump to maintain the "status quo" in an effort to keep the peace between the two sides. 

Despite the outburst of anger, experts don't think the announcement will impact long-term prospects for peace. The move is symbolic and practical, but of little strategic value to either side. The move is practical because Jerusalem is where the Israeli government resides. 

Several regional leaders have condemned the announcement. 

The move will not happen for some time. A new site will have to be chosen, plans drawn up and approved, and then the facility will have to be built. A six-month delay before that process starts is also built into the plan. For the time being, the embassy in Tel Aviv will remain open. 

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