Erekat: Peace process will be destroyed if Trump moves US embassy to Jerusalem

The senior Palestinian official added that if such moves were to come to fruition, it would have dire consequences on an already precarious and unstable region.

December 16, 2016 21:37
1 minute read.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization

Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)


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Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat on Friday said that US President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to move America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would spell the end of a negotiated peace settlement with Israel.

Speaking with journalists at an event at the Beit Jala Orthodox Club near Bethlehem, Erekat said such a move "will be the destruction of the peace process," according to AFP.

Erekat's remarks were prompted by Trump's announcement Thursday evening that his nomination to head America's diplomatic mission in Israel would be attorney David Friedman, a supporter of West Bank settlement construction who said he looked forward to working for peace "from the US embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem".

The senior Palestinian official added that if such moves were to come to fruition, it would have dire consequences on an already unstable region.

"I look David Friedman and Trump in the eye and tell them -- if you were to take these steps of moving the embassy and annexing settlements in the West Bank, you are sending this region down the path of something that I call chaos, lawlessness and extremism," he said.

Erekat, however, remained skeptical of Trump's embassy stance, or if indeed he would allow the annexation of West Bank settlements, saying:  "I don't think they will do it."

"The United States at the end of the day is a country of institutions, and they are guided by their national interests," AFP quoted Erekat as saying.

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