(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
Trump delivers on Israel promise, recognizes Jerusalem as capital
07 Dec 2017
On December 7, Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a bold and unprecedented step that reversed decades of official US policy.
Trump termed the move "a long overdue step to advance the middle-east peace process."
The status of Jerusalem is central to Israel-Palestine conflict.
Israel lauded the announcement while several world leaders criticized it.
Muslim nations seek recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital
14 Dec 2017
The Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), which comprises of 57 Muslim countries, has urged the world to recognize "the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital."
It also declared as "null and void" US President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The OIC said Trump's move also indicates America's withdrawal from the Middle East peace process.
Why is the status of Jerusalem contentious?
Jerusalem lies along the border between Israel and the West Bank. It is home to religious sites considered holy by Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital while Palestinians envision East Jerusalem as the capital of their own future independent state.
OIC considers US' decision "illegal," an attack on Palestinians' rights
The OIC members issued a communique that called the US' decision over Jerusalem "illegal" and an "attack" on the rights of Palestinians.
The said Washington's actions were "deliberately undermining" peace efforts and had given "impetus to extremism and terrorism."
They said America has effectively withdrawn "from its role as sponsor" of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
They asked the UN to lead talks.
Palestine doesn't want pro-Israel US to mediate talks
In his speech to the OIC summit in Istanbul, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the UN to take over as a mediator.
He considered it "unacceptable" for America to mediate Israel-Palestine talks since "since it is biased in favor of Israel."
He said the Palestinians engaged with Trump who promised "the deal of the century" but instead they "got the slap of the century."
US, Israel slam Abbas, OIC communique
The White House claims Abbas' statement represents the type of rhetoric that "has prevented peace for years."
Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "not impressed" by the OIC communique.
"The Palestinians would do better by recognizing reality and acting in favor of peace and not extremism," he said.
Earlier, Netanyahu had said there's "no substitute" for America in the peace process.