Palestinians continue to lobby against possible Trump move on Jerusalem

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December 4, 2017 22:40

On Monday, local Fatah leaders in the West Bank called for its cadres to mobilize ahead of Trump’s expected speech on Wednesday.

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PLO envoy: 'Kiss of death' to two-state solution if Jerusalem declared Israel capital (Reuters)

PLO envoy: 'Kiss of death' to two-state solution if Jerusalem declared Israel capital (Reuters)

The Palestinian leadership and its allies on Monday ratcheted up calls on US President Donald Trump to refrain from making any change to American policy pertaining to Jerusalem. Trump is slated to deliver a speech on Wednesday, in which he is said to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The American president is also reportedly deliberating the possibility of relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr told US Consul General in Jerusalem Donald Blome on Monday that both the prospects of moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “are unacceptable” and “bear risks that no one desires.”

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Such moves would “be at odds with the American administration’s role as the mediator of the peace process, eject it from that role, close all doors to continuing a serious peace process and push the entire region in the direction of tension and instability,” he told Blome in his office in Ramallah.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital, while the Palestinians hope east Jerusalem will be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Abu Amr also said if the US relocates its embassy to Jerusalem or recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinians and Arabs across the region would take to the streets in protest.

On Monday, local Fatah leaders in the West Bank called for their cadres to mobilize ahead of Trump’s expected speech on Wednesday.

“We are waiting for Trump to make his speech,” Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission spokesman Munir Jaghoub said in a phone interview. “After his speech, we will decide what we want to do.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas sent letters on Monday to Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and French President Emmanuel Macron about the possibility of the US changing its policy vis-a-vis Jerusalem, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.

Abbas asked Sabah to contact Trump “to prevent America from recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or moving the American embassy to it.”

Over the past three days, Abbas has contacted several world leaders and international organizations to ask them to intervene with the US administration to stop it from relocating its embassy or recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

On Sunday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih al-Shoukry warned US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the possibility of Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Spoke with US Secretary of State Tillerson on dangerous consequences of recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel,” Safadi tweeted. “Such a decision would trigger anger across the Arab and Muslim worlds, fuel tension and jeopardize peace efforts.”

The Trump administration reportedly is drafting a plan to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The final status of Jerusalem has historically been considered one of the most complicated issues in peace talks between the two sides.

On Sunday evening, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih al-Shoukry spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the possibility of Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Spoke with US Secretary of State Tillerson on dangerous consequences of recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel,” Safadi tweeted. “Such a decision would trigger anger across the Arab and Muslim worlds, fuel tension and jeopardize peace efforts.”

The Trump administration reportedly is drafting a plan to revive peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The final status of Jerusalem has historically been considered one of the most complicated issues in the peace talks between the two sides. 


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