Arab League foreign ministers at an emergency meeting on Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Cairo, Egypt December 9, 2017. REUTERS
The Arab League has called on the United States to revoke its recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warning that such a decision was a "provocation to Muslims and Christians" in the region.
In a statement in the early hours of Sunday following an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers, the league said it rejected the decision, which was officially announced by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, describing the move as “void and a dangerous violation of international law, Security Council resolutions, and the UNGA.”
“The decision has no legal effect; it restricts efforts at accomplishing peace, deepens tensions, sparks anger, and threatens to plunge the whole region into more chaos, violence, bloodshed, and instability."
The league also called on all nations to acknowledge a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, on the lines of 4 June 1967, saying it will seek a UN Security Council resolution declaring the US move in violation of legitimate international resolutions.
On Wednesday, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced that the US embassy in Israel would move from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump's endorsement of Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would reverse long-standing U.S. policy that the city's status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem after its war against Arab countries in June 1967. It annexed the city in 1980, a move that was never recognized by the international community. In recent years, Tel Aviv has been accelerating its construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to judaize the occupied territories' demographics.
Trump's decision drew a wave of condemnation from the Arab and Muslim world and Western countries.
Thousands of Palestinians have demonstrated against the decision in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. At least four Palestinians were killed and tens injured in clashes with Israeli troops.
Several protests in a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, have also erupted, rejecting the move.
There were also demonstrations against Trump's decision in Western capitals and Muslim-majority countries such as Turkey and Indonesia.
In Egypt, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, and the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, both announced the cancellation of a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, who is expected to visit Egypt and the Middle East later this month.
Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said during the emergency meeting that Arab nations should consider imposing economic sanctions against the United States to prevent it moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
"Pre-emptive measures (must be) taken ... beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions," he said, without giving specific details.
The Arab League statement made no mention of economic sanctions.