8/12/2017 389 International Affairs | countries | View Recent Current Affairs
- United States has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has directed the State Department to initiate the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
History of Jerusalem
- In 1947, the United Nations devised a plan to divide British mandate Palestine into three entities: a Jewish state, an Arab state and Jerusalem, which would have a unique status as an internationally controlled city.
- Jewish leaders accepted the plan, but the Arab world rejected it.
- Following the British withdrawal the next year, a war broke out in which Israel seized the west of the city, while Jordanians and Palestinians took the east.
- In the next conflict in 1967 Israel seized control of east Jerusalem and later annexed it, in moves never recognised by the international community.
- The predominantly Palestinian population in the east lives under full Israeli control, but cannot vote in parliamentary elections.
- Israeli, Palestinian views
- Israel views the city as its undivided capital, saying that the city “is the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and Israel’s capital since 70 years”.
- The internationally recognised Palestinian government sees the eastern part as the capital of their future state.
- Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza and does not recognise Israel, calls Jerusalem the Palestinian capital.
International community’s stand
- The position of the majority of the international community has been largely unchanged for decades.
- Essentially Jerusalem is viewed as an issue for final status negotiations between the two sides. United Nations statements suggest, however, that the city could remain the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state in any deal.
- The vast majority of countries have largely followed this line. All embassies are based in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, but most countries simply do not specify what they consider to be Israel’s capital. Thirteen countries did have embassies in Jerusalem until 1980, however, when a U.N. resolution called upon them to remove them.Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Netherlands, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela then shifted their embassies.