Friday, 15 December, 2017

Trump informs Abbas of intention to move embassy to Jerusalem

06 Dec 2017, 01:20 ( 9 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo Xinhua.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone that he intends to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have strongly condemned and rejected Trump's decision, and called for days of rage all over the Palestinian territories against Trump's decision, who also informed the leaders of Israel, Jordan and Egypt on his intentions.

Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in an official statement that President Abbas warned of the dangers of such a decision on the peace process, security and stability in the region and the world.

"The president reaffirms our firm and strict position that (there is) no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab peace initiative," said Rudeineh.

He added that Abbas will continue his contacts with regional and world leaders to prevent such unacceptable action.

Earlier, Rudeineh said in a statement that the Palestinian leadership totally rejects U.S. moving embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, adding "such a move would have serious and crucial consequences on the peace process."

"We can't accept moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem because this means that it is an official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel," he said, warning that the consequences of this decision will trigger danger on peace, security and stability in the region.

The Palestinians want to declare the eastern part of Jerusalem the capital of their future state, while Israel insists that all Jerusalem is its eternal capital. Israel has occupied the eastern part of the holy city since 1967, but Jerusalem hasn't been recognized by the international community as the capital of Israel.

Jerusalem is one of the final-status issues for Palestinian-Israeli negotiations which had stalled in 2014 after nine months of U.S.-sponsored talks without progress to resolve the decades-old conflict.

Trump pledged to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem during his election campaign, but last June he signed an extraordinary six-month order to keep it in Tel Aviv in a move taken by all his predecessors to avoid increasing tension in the Middle East.

After taking office, Trump pledged to continue his country's sponsorship of a peace process between the Palestinians and Israel, but he has yet to announce any practical mechanisms for such a move, and has also avoided sticking to the traditional position on a two-state solution.

The Palestinians have repeatedly warned that any U.S. attack on the status quo in Jerusalem would mean destroying the peace process and ending the U.S. role in sponsoring the negotiations.

Earlier in the day, the Palestinian presidency announced a telephone call between Abbas and French President Emmanuel Macron, during which France's efforts over the issue were discussed.

Abbas appreciated the efforts by President Macron and "France's position to achieve a just peace and stability in the region," according to an official statement.

The Palestinian presidency also announced that the Palestinian leadership is considering calling for an emergency Arab summit if the U.S. steps to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or move the embassy there.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian consensus government said after its weekly meeting held in the West Bank city of Ramallah that "the Palestinian masses express their rejection of the U.S. policies on Jerusalem."

It said in a press release that the Palestinian people will stand against any attempt to harm the "holy city of Jerusalem."

The statement said that moving the U.S. embassy to the occupied Jerusalem or recognizing it as the capital of Israel "threatens peace and security in our region and the world."

The government said that the U.S. step represented an encouragement to Israel to escalate its crimes against the Palestinian people and its violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian factions and political powers in the West Bank and Gaza called for considering the coming Wednesday to Friday "days of popular anger and rage" all over the Palestinian territories.

Following a meeting held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the political powers urged Arab leaders and governments to "shoulder their historical responsibility by openly declaring their rejection of any action related to the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem."

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas movement called for an emergency meeting of the factions to discuss the U.S. position towards Jerusalem.

The factions decided to call for a mass rally to "reject the American plot on Jerusalem" on Wednesday in Gaza.

Leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Talal Abu Zarifa told reporters after the meeting that the factions agreed on a series of popular activities "to emphasize that Jerusalem is a red line, the capital of Palestine."

He said that it was agreed to form a daily working committee of the factions "to follow developments step by step and to develop the executive mechanisms in relation to any moves related to this aspect, including steps of escalation."

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