- Multiple outlets on Tuesday cited Palestinian officials as saying President Donald Trump had told the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, that he intended to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
- An aide to Abbas reportedly said that if Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – a related issue – the Palestinians would cut off relations with the US.
- Several US allies had previously advised Trump against recognising Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel, with a Palestinian official reportedly saying Abbas had warned Trump that moving the embassy would have “dangerous consequences.”
President Donald Trump has told the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, that he plans to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday, citing Palestinian officials, a move that would break with decades of US policy and could ignite opposition across the region.
A Palestinian spokesman said Abbas had told Trump the move would have “dangerous consequences” for the region, according to CNBC.
The New York Times, citing US officials, reported that the embassy would not relocate for at least six months because of logistical reasons, but it also said Trump was expected to announce on Wednesday that he would recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Numerous US allies had advised the president against recognising Jerusalem as the capital, according to CNN.
One of Abbas’ aides said on Tuesday that if Trump were to go forward with the recognition, the Palestinian Authority would cut off all ties with the United States, according to Haaretz. Another senior PA official, Nabil Shaath, made grim predictions about the apparent future of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations if Trump followed through.
“The mother of all the deals dies here on the rocks in Jerusalem if he says tomorrow that the US recognises a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Shaath said.
The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian group Hamas, which Israel and the US consider a terrorist organisation, called for Palestinians to rise up in response to the “conspiracy.”
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv has been one of Trump’s longtime campaign promises. It is a position Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed, saying the move would not endanger the peace negotiations.
“It will correct a historic injustice by advancing the [peace process] and shattering a Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn’t Israel’s capital,” Netanyahu said in May.
Trump in June signed a waiver delaying moving the embassy, just as every US president has done every six months since 1995.
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