President-Elect Donald Trump has signaled he intends to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Officials said U.S. allies and partners have repeatedly cautioned the incoming administration against this move.
Arab and Palestinian leaders have publicly warned that such a move could spark violence and resistance across the region. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told Trump that this action could endanger the peace process in an irreversible way.
Wednesday on Good Morning Utah, national security expert Ryan Vogel from Utah Valley University said moving the embassy is controversial for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Jerusalem is legally occupied territory. Moving the embassy would therefore be making a significant statement regarding Israel’s claim to that territory. Second, moving the embassy would jeopardize the United States’ position as an honest broker in the peace process.
However, Jerusalem is the declared capital of Israel and moving the embassy would make diplomatic relations easier for the two countries.
This is not the first time a president has pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush pledged the same thing during their campaigns.
The proposed move comes amidst renewed violence in Jerusalem, with a Palestinian driving a truck into a crowd of Israeli soldiers and killing four of them just days ago. Many experts believe that something like the Embassy relocation proposal could further propel the country and region into increased violence.
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