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The Latest: Hamas says Trump disregards Palestinian feelings

December 6, 2017
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The head of the Islamic militant group Hamas is accusing President Donald Trump of disregarding Palestinian feelings with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Ismail Haniyeh says in a statement that the Palestinian people "know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries."

He says the decision "will not change the facts of history and geography."

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and other Western allies.

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1:45 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (goo-TEHR'-esh) is speaking out against what he says are "unilateral measures" that jeopardize the prospect for peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

He's speaking after President Donald Trump's announcement that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But the U.N. leader says the issue of Jerusalem must be resolved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Guterres tells reporters that "in this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B."

The U.N. chief never mentioned Trump's decision in his remarks.

Guterres says he'll do "everything in my power" to promote the return to negotiations by Israeli and Palestinian leaders "and to realize this vision of a lasting peace for both people."

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1:35 p.m.

Israel's prime minister calls it a "historic day" — following President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) says in a statement that Israel is "profoundly grateful" and that Trump's announcement is an "important step toward peace."

The Israeli leader says his country "will continue to work with the president and his team to make that dream of peace come true.'

Trump is pledging to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu is urging other countries to follow suit.

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1:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he's directing the State Department to begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump says the move would allow the department to begin hiring architects and making other plans. Trump says the move is "a recognition of reality."

The move breaks with decades of U.S. foreign policy. And the president is defying warnings from global leaders that it would it more difficult to achieve a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

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1:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is trying to make the case that his decision about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is "long overdue" and will advance the Mideast peace process.

Trump says he intends to do "everything" in his power "to help forge" a peace deal.

Trump is also acknowledging that "there will of course be disagree and dissident" over the moves, including relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv.

But he's calling for calm in response to his announcement.

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1:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It's a move that upends decades of U.S. policy.

He says in a White House speech that he's "determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump says he's deemed this change to be in America's interests.

The president says the decision "marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."

World leaders have warned that the move could inflame tensions in the volatile Mideast.

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1:10 p.m.

The Jerusalem municipality has illuminated the walls of the Old City red, white and blue to show thanks to President Trump's recognition of it as Israel's capital.

Mayor Nir Barkat says the main entrance to the city will also be lit in America's colors and American flags will be flown across major streets of the city on Thursday.

Barkat says Trump's announcement "sends a clear message to the entire world" that the United States stands with Israel and the Jewish people.

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1:05 p.m.

The White House has released early excerpts of President Donald Trump's speech on plans to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and he's saying the U.S. remains "deeply committed" to achieving Mideast peace.

Trump is saying he intends "to do everything" in his power to help forge a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

As part of his announcement, he plans to instruct the State Department to begin the long process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

And Trump's acknowledging opposition to his plans.

He says: "There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation."

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12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is previewing his announcement on Israel — saying at the White House that "it's long overdue."

The president isn't offering details of the decision during a Cabinet meeting. But he's expected to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and instruct the State Department to begin the long process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump says "many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn't do it." He says he'll be making the announcement later in the day.

Mideast leaders say Trump's expected decision could lead to violent protests and complicate Mideast peace efforts.

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11:10 a.m.

Bolivia's U.N. ambassador says he'll seek a U.N. Security Council meeting as soon as possible if President Donald Trump declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Bolivia is serving a two-year term on the U.N.'s most powerful panel.

Ambassador Sacha Llorentty Soliz, tells reporters that declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital "will be a reckless and a dangerous decision that goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council, and also weakens any effort for peace in the region."

Soliz says such a decision would threaten prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, as well as jeopardize international peace and security.

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10:05 a.m.

Leaders of major Christian denominations in the Holy Land have appealed to President Donald Trump to rethink his expected decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

They say in a letter that Trump's steps will mean "increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land."

Their letter asks Trump to walk toward "more love and a definitive peace" by continuing to recognize the international status of Jerusalem.

And they say that "any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm."

The letter was signed by all of the city's major church figures, including the Greek Orthodox patriarch, Theophilos III, and Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Roman Catholic apostolic administrator.

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9:50 a.m.

The head of the Arab League says an expected U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be an "unjustified provocation" for Arabs.

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit says the anticipated U.S. decision would constitute a "blow" to Arab-American relations and to the U.S. role as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians.

He also says it would be a "violation" of U.N. resolutions and international law.

Trump is expected to announce his decision later Wednesday.

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8:55 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she plans to call President Donald Trump to discuss his plan to relocate the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump is reportedly poised to set to start the process of shifting the embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

May tells the House of Commons that Britain's position is that "the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital."

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8 a.m.

The Union for Reform Judaism in the United States says President Donald Trump's anticipated announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is "ill-timed."

The group's leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, says in a statement that while the reform movement believes "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people" and the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, now is not the time.

Jacobs says "we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process."

The New York City-based organization says the relocation should be done in the broader context reflecting Jerusalem's status as a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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8:04 a.m.

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests.

Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, U.S. officials said Tuesday. It remains unclear, however, when he might take that physical step, which is required by U.S. law but has been waived on national security grounds for more than two decades.

The announcement brought warnings from leaders in the Mideast and elsewhere that this move could cause violent protests and complicate Mideast peace efforts.

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