Amid mounting security concerns for personnel and citizens abroad, the U.S. government is requesting that Israel “restrain” its response to the news that Washington will recognize Jerusalem as the country’s capital, Reuters reported Thursday, citing a State Department document.
The Dec. 6 document, which was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and U.S. officials at several European embassies, specifically references Washington's concern about backlash in the Middle East.
“We expect there to be resistance to this news in the Middle East and around the world," the document states, according to Reuters. "We are still judging the impact this decision will have on U.S. facilities and personnel overseas."
The communique instructs U.S. diplomats to tell Israeli officials to moderate their enthusiasm, Reuters reported.
“While I recognize that you will publicly welcome this news, I ask that you restrain your official response,” the document reads, outlining talking points for U.S. diplomats meeting with their Israeli counterparts.
The document contained a message for diplomats based at several U.S. embassies throughout Europe as well.
“You are in a key position to influence international reaction to this announcement and we are asking you to amplify the reality that Jerusalem is still a final status issue between Israelis and Palestinians and that the parties must resolve the dimensions of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem during their negotiations,” the document says, according to Reuters.
“You know that this is a unique Administration. It makes bold moves,” the document continues. “But it is bold moves that are going to be needed if peace efforts are finally going to be successful.”
A second State Department document obtained by Reuters stated that the U.S. has set up a task force to “track worldwide developments” concerning its historic recognition of Jerusalem.
Such task forces are typically established when there is concern for the security of U.S. workers or citizens abroad, Reuters reported, citing a government source.
On Wednesday, Palestinian officials declared the Mideast peace process “finished” and Turkey announced it would host a meeting of Islamic nations next week to give Muslim countries’ leaders an opportunity to coordinate a response.
The Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting on Saturday, and terror group Hamas is calling for a “day of rage” Friday.
"The youth and the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank need to respond with all means available to the U.S. decision that harms our Jerusalem,” Hamas said in a statement. “Jerusalem is a red line and the resistance will not allow any desecration of it.”
The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state and fear that Trump’s declaration essentially imposes on them a disastrous solution for one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“There is no way that there can be talks with the Americans. The peace process is finished. They have already pre-empted the outcome,” said Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi. “They cannot take us for granted.”
The U.S. decision “destroys the peace process,” added Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.