jerusalem is not trump or israel’s territory palestinians say
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Jerusalem is not Trump or Israel’s territory, Palestinians say

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Arab Today, arab today Jerusalem is not Trump or Israel’s territory, Palestinians say

The Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in east Jerusalem (centre) and the West bank village
Dubai - Arab Today

An impending announcement to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem reflects the “real danger” of President Trump’s pledges during the election campaign, Palestinian officials and analysts say.

And the move, should it become reality sooner than later as expected, should be considered a “criminal” act, allowing Israel to expand existing colonies at the expense of the Palestinian lands, they said.

“I consider it a criminal move against all international legitimacy and the resolutions about Jerusalem,” said Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official who was the chief negotiator and is currently the head of the foreign relations branch of the ruling Fatah movement in occupied West Bank.

“Jerusalem is not a property for Trump nor Israel,” he told Gulf News.

“All of the agreements reached so far stipulate that occupied East Jerusalem is the capital of the future Palestinian state,” he said. “Therefore, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem — and considering it to be the united capital of Israel — is a crime in the eyes of international law, he said.

“We should all face it,” he said. “This is Jerusalem we’re talking about. It’s not any other city. It’s unique.”

Occupied East Jerusalem is a red-button issue in Arab-Israeli conflict. The city was captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israel war and later annexed by Israel to the western part of the city. According to international law, it is part of occupied Palestinian lands.

The US Congress had voted earlier to move the US embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv — where virtually all of the diplomatic missions are — to occupied Jerusalem. Despite that vote, every American president before Trump has postponed that move when it came up for automatic consideration every six months. Their reason was that the fate of the city is listed on the final status talks between Palestinians and Israeli. Those talks have never started

Throughout his election campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to move the American diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. However, his pledges were met with public assumption that it would be difficult to speculate on the actions of such a controversial figure, or indeed that he would make decisions based on his business acumen alone.

“We hoped Trump wouldn’t do it,” Atef Abu-Seif, a Gaza-based political analyst told Gulf News.

Apart from being against all international laws, moving the US embassy constitutes “an insult to all Muslims’ feelings, ridiculing Arab politics and shows the indifference of the new US administration to the Palestinian and Arab positions,” Abu-Seif added.

The move, if it happens, will reflect also on annexing the existing colonial “blocs” built on Palestinian lands to Israel.

“The timing of the announcement is an important signal in terms of President Trump’s engagement and priorities in terms of Israel over other important foreign policies in the Middle East such as the war against Daesh,” explained Beverly Milton-Edwards, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute in Doha and a UK political scientist. “It is unlikely the move will take place in the near future and this announcement may well be a way of testing the waters

she said its impact will be negative across the region in terms of wider issues of defence and security of US national interests, and it may well be read in some regional capitals as highly antagonistic. “The EU and UN are hardly likely to be inclined to support President Trump breaking international consensus on this issue,” she said.

Currently, the Israelis are calling on the new US administration to “revive the Bush letter”, he added. He was referring to a letter which former President George W. Bush wrote to Ariel Sharon in 2004 (before Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip|) with the aim of encouraging Israel to withdraw from occupied Palestinian lands.

According to press reports, Bush affirmed in his recognition that “in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centres, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

“The Palestinian Authority needs to reconsider its strategy,” Abu-Seif said. Announcing that they are not any more concerned with the peace process, and they won’t sign a peace treaty with Israel is an option on the table, he noted.

“Let the world be responsible for its inability not only to bring Israel to the negotiation table, but also making the US accept the process,” he said.

“We will boycott the US, and complain to the United Nations Security Council,” Shaath said.

“We will take every legal, official and popular path to confront the US move. We expect similar moves from our Arab brothers.

source : gulfnews

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