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Jerusalem / Recognition as Israel's Capital

When the United Nations Partition Plan divided Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, it granted the greater Jerusalem area a separate status, to be administered by the UN itself. Due to Arab rejection and the ensuing war, that plan was never implemented.

Today, Jerusalem serves as Israel’s capital in practice, with the Prime Minister’s Residence, Knesset, Supreme Court and most government offices located there. At the same time, most of the international community maintains that all the areas east of the 1967 lines are occupied territory. Therefore, as agreed in 1993 by Israel and the Palestinians, the status of the city can only be resolved in final-status negotiations, and it is the policy of most

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states to have their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv, until the status of Jerusalem is resolved. 


Recently, the United States shifted its policy, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving its embassy there. Supporters of this move argue that the recognition simply acknowledged reality -- Jerusalem already operates as Israel’s capital -- and the Trump administration stated that it had not taken a position on final-status issues. Opponents contend that the move pre-determined the status of Jerusalem and criticize the failure to recognize Palestinian aspirations for a capital in East Jerusalem.

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