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President Donald Trump will announce Wednesday that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the embassy there, senior administration officials said.
The officials said the embassy move could take "years" — possibly three to four — and there is no location yet for the new facility.
The president had already told Arab leaders on Tuesday that he intends to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that breaks with decades of U.S. policy and risks fueling violence in the Middle East.
The U.S. decision, which was reached through a "collaborative" process between multiple agencies, is a recognition of the "historical reality" of the situation, the officials said.
Trump notified Arab leaders on Tuesday that he intends to make the major change in calls to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan's King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia's King Salman. Many of the leaders warned that unilateral U.S. steps on Jerusalem would derail a fledgling U.S.-led peace effort and unleash turmoil in the region.
U.S. endorsement of Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would reverse long-standing U.S. policy that the city's status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan's King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who all received phone calls from Trump, joined a mounting chorus of voices warning that unilateral U.S. steps on Jerusalem would derail a fledgling U.S.-led peace effort and unleash turmoil in the region.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
—Reuters contributed to this report.