Hundreds of Palestinians participated in demonstrations in three Palestinian cities on Thursday to call on President-elect Donald Trump not to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Fatah, the dominant political party in the West Bank, other PLO factions, and local political committees organized the demonstrations, which took place in Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron.
At the demonstration in Nablus’s Martyrs’ Square, hundreds of Palestinians turned out, waving Palestinian flags and holding signs that read “No to relocating the US Embassy” and “Relocating the US Embassy is the new Balfour Declaration for the Palestinian people” and “the world is making progress while Trump administration is going backwards.”
The demonstrators also yelled chants against the relocation of the embassy.
“We will not give up on our capital,” they called out as the sun beat over their heads. “Oh Trump, listen, listen, you have to rescind your decision.”
Mahmoud al-Aloul, a Fatah Central Committee member, told the demonstrators that moving the embassy would have dire consequences for the peace process.
“Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem for the [Palestinians] would mean the abrogation of signed treaties with Israel,” Aloul said, according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “The Palestinians cannot accept anything except for East Jerusalem as their capital.”
Donald Trump told the Israeli daily Israel Ha-Yom on Wednesday that he intends to follow through with his campaign promise to relocate the embassy.
“Of course I remember what I said about Jerusalem…You know that I am not a person who breaks promises,” Trump told the Israeli daily in response to a question about the relocation of the embassy.
Akram Rajoub, the PA Nablus Governor, who also delivered a speech at the Nablus demonstration, said relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would undo “hope.”
“Moving the embassy would mean that there is no hope for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and no national rights for the Palestinian people,” Rajoub said emphatically, adding that, “There is nothing more dangerous than an entire people losing hope for the future.”
Palestinian officials have warned over the past two weeks that moving the embassy would have “devastating” and “catastrophic” consequences not only for the Palestinian territories, but also the region and the world.
Salah al-Yasidi, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, who attended the Nablus demonstration, told Palestine TV on the sidelines of the demonstration that he completely rejects the possible relocation of the embassy.
“The policies of this new Trump administration that affect Palestinian identity, Jerusalem’s identity including its Palestinian, human, and international nature are completely rejected and all options will be on the table to confront them,” Yasidi said.
Israel, for its part, has encouraged the US president to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he thought such a move would be “great” during a trip to Azerbaijan in December.
Meanwhile, demonstrations in Ramallah and Hebron also attracted hundreds of Palestinians, who similarly urged the US president-elect to rethink what he said during his campaign.