Abbas calls for achieving reconciliation, hours before Trump J'lem announcement

Though Abbas's Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, the deal has yet to be implemented.

December 6, 2017 14:57
1 minute read.
A man holds a picture of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during celebrations after Hamas said it

A man holds a picture of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during celebrations after Hamas said it reached a deal with Palestinian rival Fatah, in Gaza City October 12, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/SUHAIB SALEM)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for “immediate” action to achieve national reconciliation, several hours before United States President Donald Trump is expected to make a major announcement on American policy pertaining to Jerusalem.

In mid-October, Abbas’s party Fatah and Hamas signed a deal to advance reconciliation efforts and restore the PA’s governing authority in the Gaza Strip, but have since failed to implement the agreement. Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting the Fatah-dominated PA in 2007 from the territory.

“Abbas affirmed the necessity of exerting all efforts, putting aside disputes and immediately acting to achieve national reconciliation to confront the great dangers facing our Palestinian issue on all levels,” the official PA new site Wafa reported.

Trump informed Abbas on Tuesday of “his intention” to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said.

US news outlets reported on Tuesday that Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday, but delay the relocation of the embassy due to logistical concerns.

Palestinian officials have said that prospects of both US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocation of the American Embassy in Israel would spell the end of America’s role as an interlocutor in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Such moves would “be at odds with the American administration’s role as the mediator of the peace process and eject if from that role,” PA Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr told US Consul Donald Blome in a meeting on Monday, according to Wafa. 

Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians hope the capital of a future Palestinian state will be in east Jerusalem. According to Palestinian officials, the US moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem or recognizing the city as Israel’s capital is equivalent to siding with Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem.

Abbas added that achieving “the unity of the Palestinian people and land” is “the true response to all attempts to violate our rights which are guaranteed by international law and custom.”

On Wednesday, PA ministers are expected to arrive in Gaza.

Abbas said he instructed the ministers “to find solutions to the daily suffering of our people in the Strip.”

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