Why is Jerusalem important, what makes Donald Trump's intervention so toxic and does anyone else recognise the city as Israel's capital?

Why is Jerusalem important, what makes Donald Trump's intervention so toxic and does anyone else recognise the city as Israel's capital?: SAM GREENHILL explores why today's announcement is so incendiary 

What is the status of Jerusalem?

Israel set up its parliament in West Jerusalem when the state of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. The move followed the United Nations' vote to partition Palestine on the basis of the British pledge known as the Balfour Declaration that paved the way for a homeland for the Jewish people.

Israel occupied 78 per cent of the land, with the remaining 22 per cent split between Gaza and the West Bank.

Then, in 1967, during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli war, Israel annexed Arab-controlled East Jerusalem, including the Old City. Israel has claimed ever since that both parts of the city are its 'undivided' capital.

However, Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital. Most countries, including Britain, do not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Chiefly because of its religious history. The Temple Mount in the Old City is the most sacred place in Judaism — the site of Solomon's Temple said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant and destroyed in 586 BC by King of Babylon.

The site is also the third holiest shrine in Islam, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif ('Noble Sanctuary'). It was the scene of Prophet Muhammad's 'Night Journey' ascension from Earth to Heaven in 621. The compound includes Islamic shrines the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The city is also sacred to Christians — Jesus attended a temple in the Old City and was crucified on a hill outside its walls. But it also has hugely important implications for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

What has Donald Trump done and why is his intervention so toxic?

Until now, peacemakers have pursued the strategy that Jerusalem would be part of an overall negotiated settlement, with its status decided in the latter stages of peace talks, with agreement on both sides. But if America jumps to a conclusion on the city's status now — and takes Israel's side — many fear it will undermine the chances of a peace deal. It could also damage America's position as an 'honest broker' between the two sides.

It does not take much to spark violence in the Middle East. In 2000, the Second Intifada — two bloody years of Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military killings — started after a visit by the then leader of the Israeli opposition, Ariel Sharon, to the Old City site.

The Temple Mount in the Old City is the most sacred place in Judaism — the site of Solomon’s Temple said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant and destroyed in 586 BC by King of Babylon. The compound includes Islamic shrines the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque

How can the status of Jerusalem be peacefully resolved?

Jerusalem is described as the most intractable part of the world's most intractable conflict. But one of the main planks of the peace process is a two-state solution — in which Jerusalem would serve as capital of both states: East Jerusalem for Palestine, West Jerusalem for Israel.

About a third of the people living in Jerusalem are Palestinians. An uneasy co-existence is lived out day-to-day, under the watchful eyes of clusters of armed Israeli police.

Though there is generally free movement around the divided capital, Israeli security forces set up checkpoints to seal off Palestinian neighbourhoods in times of tension, such as a wave of stabbings in 2015.

Since 1967, Israel has built a dozen settlements, home to about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem. These are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Jerusalem is governed by a mayor and city council whose members are elected to four-year terms. Palestinian Arabs living in East Jerusalem have the right to vote in Israeli elections, but most refuse to do so.

Mr Trump could now have catastrophically undermined his own Middle East strategy of trying to forge peace — not just between Israel and Palestinians, but also between Israel and Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Muslims
Mr Trump could now have catastrophically undermined his own Middle East strategy of trying to forge peace — not just between Israel and Palestinians, but also between Israel and Saudi Arabia's Sunni Muslims

How does Trump justify moving the U.S. embassy?

The U.S. embassy is currently in Tel Aviv. To move it to Jerusalem would be a powerfully symbolic and inflammatory gesture in support of Israel and in defiance of Palestinians.

But technically Trump has a legal framework: in 1995, amid lobbying from pro-Israel Americans, the Republican-controlled Congress passed a law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which instructs the President to move the embassy. But all Presidents since Bill Clinton have signed a waiver every six months to prevent that happening.

So why has he done this now?

Mr Trump's move seems driven not by diplomatic calculations, but by a campaign promise and his current low ratings.

In 2016, he appealed to Christian evangelicals and ardently pro-Israel American Jews by vowing to move the embassy. His pledge was extremely popular with these voters, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who donated $25 million to the Trump cause. Mr Adelson expressed anger when Mr Trump signed the waiver in June to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv. Advisers said this week Mr Trump was making good on his promise.

Why are all the Arab countries so hostile to the move?

Opinion polls show that at least 90 per cent of Arabs view Israel as their main enemy. So no Arab regime can risk provoking internal political upheaval by appearing to side with the U.S.

Mr Trump could now have catastrophically undermined his own Middle East strategy of trying to forge peace — not just between Israel and Palestinians, but also between Israel and Saudi Arabia's Sunni Muslims.

He wants the Saudis to take on and curb the growing influence of Iran's Shia Muslims — the Sunni's mortal enemies — and their allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The Saudis could now be forced to abandon their gradual clandestine move towards open acceptance of the Jewish state.

Opinion polls show that at least 90 per cent of Arabs view Israel as their main enemy. So no Arab regime can risk provoking internal political upheaval by appearing to side with the U.S

Do other countries recognise Jerusalem as the capital?

The world — including China — is virtually united in not recognising Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

One exception is the Pacific island of Vanuatu, which recognised it in May this year. Its late president, Baldwin Lonsdale, was an evangelical Christian who was described as having 'a strong connection to the Jewish people and to Israel'.

Taiwan also considers Jerusalem as Israel's capital. However, Israel does not even recognise Taiwan as a country.

Russia's position is slightly ambiguous but seems to leave room for the city to be Israel's capital in the event of a peace deal.

 

Source MailOnline

H.H THE AMIR MEETS FIFA CHIEF, FOOTBALL BAN LIFTED

 
 

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at the Bayan Palace this morning in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim, President of the International Football Federation (FIFA) Gianni Infantino and the accompanying delegation on the occasion of his visit to the country. 

His Highness thanked the President of the Federation for the role he played in supporting Kuwaiti sport. He expressed the importance of sponsoring youth by all state institutions and harnessing all potentials to take care of youth energies in order to raise the flag of Kuwait in various forums.  
The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Al Jarrah, Minister of Trade and Industry and Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Rawdan and Chairman of the Priority Committee MP Ahmad Nabil Al-Fadl.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said during the meeting: "It is a great honor to be with His Highness to meet with you. You, His Highness, are very distinguished not only in Kuwait and the region, but in the whole world, but I am President of the World Federation of Football (FIFA) is very happy today to tell His Highness a happy news that I think Kuwait needs this happy news. The region also needs happy news and the world needs happy news. Thank you very much for all the work done by a group of us and groups of Kuwait .. As there is a football team we work as a team today ... I would like to And I assure His Highness that the Viva Council unanimously decided at its meeting to lift the suspension from Kuwait now .. And we have done many things but this is the beginning of a new phase.

Thank you for your wisdom, I know that you are a strong fan of football and a wise leader. You have given all your spiritual children and are now walking in the right direction. I am very proud and happy that Kuwait has returned to the family to work together for a better future for Kuwait. from heart. 
Your Excellency, your happiness and your greatness are known and witnessed today in this process. You have presented your country with the past and the present a lot, and you continue to offer especially to the youth in your country, especially those who love Kuwaiti and international football. Now we must look to the future. To reach out to one another and to work together for the future of football.

And the decision to lift the suspension presented by a gift from the President of (Viva) to His Highness with all the respect and gratitude to his name on this day, December 6 this important day that saw the lifting of the suspension .. We will embrace some of the hugging Kuwait again in (Viva) .. This is The World Cup is dazzling today, a bright day for Kuwait. "

For his part, Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim said: "If you allow me a long life on my behalf and everyone to offer to Samok firstly kindly after God Almighty to your support and your determination to free young people from unfair injustice and signed back to play our dignity .. If not Your support and without your direction and your determination to return to play in our dignity without prejudice to the sovereignty of the country without prejudice to our Constitution, what happened now .. Thank you and appreciation, long life and brother Gianni Infantino President of the International Federation also thanks all the real support and consideration of the subject of Kuwait fairly .. After God thank you long life and Jakek God good. "

 

Minister of Health d. Jamal al-Harbi issues a decision to impose fees on physiotherapy sessions for expatriates

FIFA CHIEF ARRIVES IN KUWAIT TO TACKLES LIFTING BAN ON KUWAITI FOOTBALL

FIFA president Gianni Infantino arrived here on Wednesday with a letter regarding lifting the suspension on Kuwaiti football .In a statement, Kuwait Football Association said the visit aims at lifting the suspension of Kuwaiti football, including a tour to sports facilities.Infantino was received at Kuwait International airport by Kuwaiti National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Minister of Trade and Industry and Acting Minister of Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan.

Last Sunday, the Kuwaiti parliament agreed to amend sports laws during a special two sessions.

The first round of voting on these amendments were 44 members agree, three disagree, and one abstention out of 48 membersIn the second session, 47 members voted in favor, three disagree and one abstained out of 51 members of parliament.

KUWAIT’S CONSULATE IN LOS ANGELES WARNS CITIZENS FROM RECENT WILD FIRES

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US: The Kuwaiti Consulate General in Los Angeles, California, appealed to all Kuwaiti Citizens in the areas affected by the recent fire in the city to be cautious and move to safe areas.In a statement on Wednesday, the consulate stressed that all citizens should follow instructions by local authorities in case of any emergency.The consulate also provided a hot line: 310-310-279-3644 Including the Consulate own phone number: 310-556-0300 or by post E-mail: info@kuwaitconsulate.org Wishing everyone safety.

Local authorities have issued warnings and instructions to evacuate areas in the vicinity of fires in parts of the forests of Los Angeles, California, which began to widen due to the winds of two days ago.Last Monday, thousands in southern California were forced to evacuate their homes as wildfires moved through at least 45,000 acres of land, according to authorities.

ANNOUNCEMENT KUWAIT

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Studying in some schools will resume Wednesday after GCC Summit

Kuwait: Studying will resume on Wednesday in a number of schools which closed down during the 38th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, said the Minister of Education Dr. Mohammad Al-Fares Tuesday, schools in a number of educational districts, which were near the venue of the summit in Bayan Palace, would reopen tomorrow, The ministry issued a decision Monday to close down public and private schools to prevent traffic congestions.

GCC SUMMIT DECLARATION: MEMBER STATES SHOULD BE COMMITTED TO SYSTEM

The 38th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, hosted by Kuwait on Tuesday, urged commitment of the six-nation bloc’s system and for the region’s media to “bear their responsibility” in encouraging unity.

Reading out the ‘Kuwait Declaration’ at the session’s conclusion, GCC chief Abdullatif Al-Zayani said it was imperative that Gulf states unite in their efforts to face challenges and threats to their security and stability.Al-Zayani said Gulf leaders see eye-to-eye on achieving “unity and coordination” and strengthening their ties on the economic, security and military domains, particularly regarding the fight against terrorism.

Gulf states are also keen to continue working on several joint projects, including the GCC Joint Market and their Customs Union.In conclusion, the declaration also warned that media representatives and intelectuals throughout the region should “bear their responsibility” in supporting efforts aimed at cooperation amongst the bloc’s member states.

H.H THE AMIR: GCC WILL CONTINUE LEADING ROLE DESPITE CHALLENGES

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah affirmed on Tuesday that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will carry on its leading role in the region despite the numerous challenges and upheavals.Delivering his speech at the inauguration of the 38th Gulf Summit in Kuwait on Tuesday, His Highness the Amir welcomed the participation of various delegations in the grand meeting.

The holding of the summit proves to the world that the GCC, as an important entity, needs to continue to address the needs of the people of the region, said His Highness the Amir.

His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah thanked the Bahraini King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa for hosting the previous summit in Manama, saying that the Bahraini leadership and people always contributed to the success of the GCC since its inception.His Highness the Amir touched on the Gulf countries’ joint accomplishments since the formation of the council, adding that the future still holds more goals to achieve and milestones to surpass.Uniting the Gulf countries efforts against regional and international challenges will ensure the security and stability of the council, His Highness the Amir affirmed.
The International community managed to achieve victories against terrorism in both Iraq and Syria; however, the threat of extremism is still at large, said His Highness the Amir who called for more efforts in this regard.
His Highness the Amir lauded the Saudi efforts in uniting the front of the Syrian opposition, hoping that this policy will bring peace to the war-torn country.

Focusing on Yemen, His Highness the Amir commended the efforts carried out by the coalition, which supports the legitimacy in Yemen, adding that it was important to continue providing all forms of assistance, especially humanitarian relief, to the Yemenis.
His Highness the Amir called on the Houthi group to abide by the political solution in Yemen, saying that the UNSC resolution 2216, the Gulf initiative, and national dialogue were part of the solution.

Concerning the peace process in the Middle East, His Highness the Amir expressed hopes that such stalemate in the process be moved forward in order to reach a just and everlasting peace agreement for the sake of substantiating the stability of the region and the world in accordance to the Arab peace initiative and international resolutions in this regard.

His Highness the Amir also congratulated the Iraqis for liberating areas that were under the control of the so-called Islamic State (IS/Daesh).

He reiterated the GCC’s bid to continue working with the Iraqi government to maintain stability of Iraq, stressing the significance of participation in the conference slated for mid-February in Kuwait dedicated for the reconstruction of Iraqi areas affected by Daesh.
On Iran, His Highness the Amir said that the Islamic Republic of Iran was still violating principles of international law.

He called on Iran to abide by rules, which respect the sovereignty and internal affairs of neighboring states, affirming that this was an integral condition, which ensures the stability of the region.
His Highness the Amir asked Allah Almighty to preserve stability of the GCC states and continue bestowing his blessings and welfare on the GCC peoples.

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INTERPOL-Saudi Arabia extradited to Pakistani authorities

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Saudi Arabia's Interpol received a request for the arrest of one of their nationals in a murder case following a dispute over a plot of land in Pakistan that opened fire on the victim and others and managed to flee to the Kingdom.It was circulated and arrested on 29/1 / 1439H corresponding to 19/10/2017, and the formal procedures have been completed to provide the competent authorities in the Republic of Pakistan.

Two earthquakes hit Iran's Bu Shahr

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Two successive earthquakes measuring 4.9 and 3.8 on the Richter scale occurred in the cities of Bank and Deir in Bushehr province in southwestern Iran, local authorities said. The earthquake hit the city of Bank at 10:55 local time, while the second earthquake hit 8.3 degrees at 11:02 a.m. 

The statement did not mention the potential loss of life or property caused by the quake

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