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US Jerusalem recognition ‘uncalculated gamble’: Hamas

US JERUSALEM RECOGNITION ‘UNCALCULATED GAMBLE’: HAMAS

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh has described U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an "uncalculated gamble".

Trump is widely expected to announce the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognition of the city as Israel's capital.

"This decision would be an adventure and uncalculated gamble that no one can predict its repercussions," Haniyeh said in an interview with the Doha-based Al Jazeera television.

He said the U.S. move would trigger a series of "terrifying" transformations in the region.

"The decision would constitute an assault on the Palestinian people, their holy sites and the whole Muslim nation," Haniyeh said.

The Hamas leader said he contacted a number of world leaders to ask them to "take a decision equal to the U.S. move".

The U.S. announcement "will be an official declaration of the end of the peace process", he said.

Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, which Israel occupied the city's east during the Middle East war in 1967.

During his election, Trump promised to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Successive U.S. presidents of both parties have signed a six-month waiver since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was signed into law in 1995, perpetually forestalling the building's legislated move over concerns it could spark a diplomatic crisis and be a death knell to peace talks.

Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, but Palestinians are seeking the city's east for the capital of their future state.

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