U.S. officials have confirmed that President Donald Trump will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, parting ways with the positions of close allies and breaking with decades of established American foreign policy.
"For a long time the United States’ position held that ambiguity, or lack of acknowledgement would somehow advance the prospects of peace [between Palestinians and Israelis]," a senior Trump administration official said, according to The Guardian.
Currently, the U.S. recognizes Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel, hosting its embassy in the Israeli city. This decision would also call for the construction of a new embassy in Jerusalem, which would take about three years to complete.
"It seems clear now that the physical location of the embassy is not material to a peace deal ... So having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgement of reality seems like an important change," the official said.
Administration officials also said that "nothing in this decision speaks to a final status resolution, or boundaries or sovereignty issues." They also expressed confidence that Trump's Middle East peace agenda wouldn't be impacted negatively by the decision.
Despite the confidence of U.S. officials, Middle Eastern and world leaders – including American allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia and France – have warned that the decision will hinder peace negotiations and likely lead to a violent response.
"Such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque," Saudi Arabia's King Salman said, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
King Abdullah of Jordan shared similar sentiments, saying the U.S. decision would have "dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region."
Palestinian leaders have called for three days of protests – or "Days of Rage" – in response to the decision.