President Donald Trump will recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday, upending decades of careful US policy and ignoring dire warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.
Palestinian factions in West Bank have announced there will be at least three "days of rage" beginning Wednesday, 6 December over US President's expected decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Trump had earlier informed regional leaders including Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Washington would unilaterally declare Jerusalem - third holiest site in Islam- as capital of the Jewish state.
A senior administration official said Trump would make the landmark announcement -- which flies in the face of warnings from America's allies across the region and the world -- at 1pm (10pm UAE) from the White House.
"He will say that that the United States government recognizes that [occupied] Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"He views this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality," the source added, "and modern reality."
Trump will also order planning to begin on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem.
"It will take some time to find a site, to address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility and build it," the official said, indicating that the move will not be immediate.
"It will be a matter of some years, it won't be months, it's going to take time."
The status of occupied Jerusalem is a central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming the city as their capital, and expectations of Trump's announcement have roiled the region.
FEAR OF VIOLENCE
Meanwhile, many have expressed apprehension that Trump's upcoming announcement could be a recipe for disaster in the volatile region.
"We believe that any action that would undermine these efforts must absolutely be avoided. A way must be found, through negotiations, to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, so that the aspiration of both parties can be fulfilled," said EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.
"Since early this year, the European Union was clear in its expectation that there can be [a] reflection on the consequences that any decision or unilateral action affecting Jerusalem's status could have. It might have serious consequences on public opinion in large parts of the world," she added.
Enraged by Trump's imminent announcement, Palestinian leaders have said there will be widespread demonstrations at least until Friday.
"The Palestinian people know how to protect their rights and we are in consultations regarding [our moves] in the coming days," Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Mahisan told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Ismail Haniyeh, chief of Hamas which is a powerful force in the region, said the latest move crossed "every red line" and called the Palestinians to make Friday "a day of rage against the occupation". Other political factions led by the Palestinian Authority have also said there will be marches.
Israel seized the largely-Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, claiming both sides of the city as its "eternal and undivided capital."
But the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state and fiercely oppose any Israeli attempt to extend sovereignty there.
Trump was pushed to act on the embassy as a result of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which stated that the city "should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel" and that the US embassy should be moved there.
An inbuilt waiver has been repeatedly invoked by successive US presidents, postponing the move on grounds of "national security" once every six months, meaning the law has never taken effect.
Several peace plans have unravelled over the issue of how to divide sovereignty or oversee sites in the city that are holy for Christians, Jews and Muslims.