President Trump is expected to announce Wednesday that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital—and Israeli security forces expect massive protests to follow. Israeli forces are braced for violence in the West Bank, where Palestinian protesters burned photos of Trump Tuesday night, the Times of Israel reports. Trump is also expected to announce that the US will be the first country to have its Israel embassy in Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv. Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian envoy to Britain, tells the BBC that the moves are a "declaration of war" in the Middle East and will be the "kiss of death" to hopes of a two-state peace plan.
Moving the embassy to the disputed city of Jerusalem is required by a law brought in under Bill Clinton in 1995, the AP notes, but it has been waived on national security grounds under six-month waivers ever since. Officials say Trump is likely to sign another waiver delaying the move and will keep doing so until preparations for the move to Jerusalem are complete, which could take as long as four years. The Trump announcement is expected at 1pm EST, and US embassies around the world, especially in the Middle East, have been advised to step up security, the Guardian reports. American government employees have been told to steer clear of the West Bank and Jerusalem's Old City until further notice.