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Trump must warn Hamas: Don't test us on Jerusalem

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Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a statement on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"We will respond aggressively to any threats against U.S. persons, facilities, or interests."

President Trump should issue that statement in response to threats against his apparent plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem in a statement on Wednesday.

Of course, not everyone is happy.

The Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, has called for a "day of rage." While Hamas has not carried out a terrorist plot against U.S. interests for some years, the group's leadership may now see a violent exchange with the U.S. as an opportunity to galvanize the Muslim polity around its extremist viewpoints. They will portray the recognition announcement as a U.S.-Israeli plot to desecrate Islam's holiest sites.

Hamas may also see this as a chance to further weaken President Abbas by portraying him as insufficiently committed to opposing Israel.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another group which references Jerusalem at the center of its logo, may also see this as an opportunity to regain standing and support.

Others are also sending out threatening signals.

In an apparent reference to U.S. military strikes against Syria earlier this year, President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey says U.S. recognition of Jerusalem would cross "a red line."

Iran, of course, poses the most significant threat: its Revolutionary Guards covert action force is titled "Quds," Farsi for Jerusalem. And remember, all of this is playing out amidst brewing ingredients for a major new conflict in the Middle East.

Still, President Trump must make it clear that U.S. policy does not exist subject to the whims of foreign threats. If U.S. interests are targeted, he must be ready to use force to punish those responsible.

While I don't believe this is the right time to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, our democracy demands that Trump alone be empowered to make this decision. If extremists disagree, they must be re-educated.