The Palestinian leadership should downgrade its diplomatic ties with the United States if the American embassy is relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a top Fatah official said on Monday.
“If that [the relocation of the embassy] takes place, the Palestinian side would have to sever its ties with the official staff of the illegal US Embassy in Jerusalem. In addition to that, there is the issue of the Palestinian political representative’s office in Washington; it would also be necessary to close [it],” Nasser al-Kidwa, a Fatah central committee member, told Al-Quds, a Palestinian daily newspaper, clarifying that the relocation the of the US Embassy would leave the Palestinians with “no other choice.”
The Palestinian leadership and the US have had a close relationship since the establishment of the PA in the early 1990s, to which the US has sent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
Kidwa, who is considered a contender to succeed PA President Mahmoud Abbas, added that the Palestinian leadership should also declare, in the event that US President Donald Trump follows through with his campaign promise to move the embassy, that the US is no longer a broker in the Middle East peace process and turn to the UN.
“It would be necessary for the Palestinian side to make clear that it no longer officially considers the United States an interlocutor and that it cannot cooperate with it directly or through the Quartet,” Kidwa stated, adding that it would also be imperative “to go to the Security Council to raise a complaint against the United States of America.”
In every round of bilateral negotiations, including the most recent talks mediated by former secretary of state John Kerry, the US has been the primary peace broker between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams.
The Palestinian leadership launched a campaign two weeks ago to mobilize the international community against the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Abbas sent a letter to Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and many other world leaders, warning that moving the embassy would have “destructive” consequences for the region’s stability and the two-state solution.
Abbas also met with King Abdullah in Jordan on Sunday to discuss the possible relocation of the American embassy.
According to Wafa, the official PA news site, Abbas said that he and Abdullah agreed to take a series of coordinated steps if the US relocates its embassy, without elaborating on what they would be.