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Trump hails Jerusalem decision at Hanukkah celebration

Published: December 08, 2017 11:30:31 | Updated: December 08, 2017 16:13:15


US President Donald Trump on Thursday celebrated an "especially special" Hanukkah at the White House, a day after declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital and setting off criticism and clashes.

"Right now I'm thinking about what's going on and the love that's all over Israel and all about Jerusalem," Trump said in the White House East Room.

Trump was flanked by his daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism when she married her husband, Jared Kushner, and their three children.

The president broke with decades of US policy with the Jerusalem announcement, putting the United States at odds with most other countries.

The European Union, Germany, Britain, France, the Pope and key Arab allies have denounced the move.

But inside the White House Thursday, Trump got only applause, cheers and thanks from the crowd, which included Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Holocaust survivor Louise Lawrence-Israels and Orthodox Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.

The Old City in east Jerusalem is home to sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and its status is one of the most explosive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Until Trump's decision, the US - along with most other countries - has maintained its embassy in Tel Aviv, saying the status of Jerusalem should be resolved between the sides in negotiations.

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