Israel gears up for clashes ahead of Trump's Jerusalem declaration

Jerusalem, Dec 6: Israeli security forces were preparing for clashes with Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank ahead of US President Donald Trump's announcement recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A military official said the Israeli Army was "preparing for possible escalation", including violent rallies, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the city of Bethlehem on Tuesday night, posters of Trump were burnt at a rally that began after a senior White House official confirmed that the US leader will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday.

Trump is also expected to announce that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but the move will not be carried out immediately, according to the official.

The announcement will mark a change in the US policy which has never recognised the annexed city as part of Israel.

Palestinian officials have warned that the move will "kill" any chance for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who consider East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

East Jerusalem is a predominantly Palestinian territory, which Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it shortly later. The annexation was never recognised by the international community.

Trump's announcement is expected to trigger an angry response from the Palestinians as well as by Jordan and other Muslim countries, which have already warned such a move would be unacceptable.

Jerusalem is a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. The Old City in eastern Jerusalem is home to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, a site known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif ("the Nobel Sanctuary") and to Jews as the Temple Mount. Jordan is the custodian of the compound.