US embassies warned to boost security ahead of possible Jerusalem announcement: report

US embassies warned to boost security ahead of possible Jerusalem announcement: report
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The State Department is reportedly warning U.S. embassies around the world to tighten security ahead of a possible announcement on the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by President Trump on Wednesday.

Politico reports that State Department officials are worried Trump's possible declaration could lead to violence targeting U.S. embassies and diplomatic staff.

“The impending Jerusalem announcement has me very worried about the possibility of violent responses that could affect embassies,” a State Department official told the news outlet. “I hope I’m wrong.”

The U.S. currently recognizes Tel Aviv as Israel's capital, and the U.S. embassy is located there. Under a 1995 law, the president must recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital or make a declaration every six months that such a move would harm U.S. national security interests.

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The radical terror group Hamas has already pledged a new "intifada," or Palestinian uprising, if Trump declares Jerusalem as Israel's capital. An escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2015 led to hundreds of casualties on both sides.

Jerusalem is claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis as their capital. Experts say that Trump could compromise his position with the Palestinians in the future by declaring Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

“The most important thing is the recognition — nobody cares where the embassy is,” Columbia University professor and Palestinian advocate Rashid Khalidi told Politico. “The U.S. disqualifies itself as an honest broker by wholeheartedly adopting an Israeli position.”

Despite the risk, State Department officials say official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is inevitable.

"The president has always said it is a matter of when, not if,” a State Department official said. “The president is still considering options, and we have nothing to announce."