U.S. consulate in Jerusalem issues security message after reports of Trump move on embassy

A general view shows part of Jerusalem's Old City and the Dome of the Rock December 5, 2017 REUTERS/Ammar Awad

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem instructed employees on Tuesday to stay away from the occupied West Bank and parts of Jerusalem after President Donald Trump told Middle East leaders he planned to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the holy city.

The decision breaks with decades of U.S. policy and risks fuelling violence in the Middle East. Palestinian factions in Gaza and the West Bank issued calls on Tuesday for protests against Trump’s expected moves on Jerusalem.

“With widespread calls for demonstrations beginning Dec. 6 in Jerusalem and the West Bank, U.S. government employees and their family members are not permitted until further notice to conduct personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank,” the U.S. consulate said in a security message.

“United States citizens should avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and/or military presence,” the message said.

Reporting by Maayan Lubell; editing by Mark Heinrich