palestinian factions say us decision could lead to uprising
Last Updated : GMT 08:01:54
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Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 08:01:54
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Calling for serious moves

Palestinian factions say U.S decision could lead to uprising

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Palestinian factions say U.S decision could lead to uprising

US President Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Gaza - Moneib Saada

A U.S. move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital would mean the end of President Donald Trump's peace efforts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a senior Palestinian official warned Tuesday. Palestinian political factions, meanwhile, called for demonstrations against any such announcement.

Continuing his diplomatic offensive against the move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron by phone on the issue on Tuesday, official news agency WAFA said. Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Abbas, told journalists that a decision by Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital "totally destroys any chance that he will play a role as an honest broker."

"That takes away... the deal of the century," he added, referring to Trump's pledge to reach an elusive peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Trump on Monday delayed a decision on whether to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the U.S. embassy there.

The White House said Trump would miss a deadline to decide on shifting the embassy from Tel Aviv, after a frantic 48 hours of public warnings from allies and private phone calls between world leaders. There have been suggestions he will stop short of moving the embassy for now but recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- a move that would upturn years of precedent and run contrary to international consensus.

"We have not been asking for anything outside the two-state solution," Shaath said. "Mr Trump and his administration are violating that, and therefore they don't play that game and we don't play with them that game."

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community. Israel claims the entire city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The city's status is among the most difficult issues in the conflict. U.S. traditional policy has been that its status must be negotiated between the two parties. Abbas's Fatah party called for demonstrations if Trump goes through with the reported plan to recognize Jerusalem.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, plans to hold protests on Wednesday night after evening prayers in the enclave. The controversy comes ahead of a planned visit later this month to Israel and the Palestinian territories by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

On his hand, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is warning a U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the embassy from Tel Aviv could destroy the Middle East peace process. Reports say President Donald Trump may make an announcement as early as Monday. He could declare that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital but put off physically moving the embassy.

“He’s still looking at a lot of different facts, and when he makes his decision, he’ll be the one to want to tell you, not me," Trump Middle East advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner said Sunday. Trump made designating Jerusalem as the Israeli capital one of his campaign promises.

Abbas has been actively speaking out against such a move. An Abbas advisor says he spent much of Sunday working the phones, calling several world leaders to "explain the dangers of any decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem or recognize [Jerusalem] as Israel's capital."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. is "playing with fire." The militant Palestinian faction Hamas has called for a new intifada - an uprising - if the embassy is moved.

Former president Bill Clinton signed moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv into law in 1995. But a president can sign a waiver every six months if he feels a relocation would endanger U.S. national security. Every president since Clinton - including Trump - has signed the waiver.

Israel seized control of Jerusalem in the Six Day War in 1967, and later annexed east Jerusalem - a move never recognized by the world community. Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Israel contends the entire city is its undivided capital. The United States has always said the future of Jerusalem must be settled as part of a Middle East peace deal.

 

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