Saturday, December 17, 2016

Erekat: Moving the American embassy would destroy peace

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat warned on Friday that moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would destroy the prospects of peace.

Jerusalem was a final-status issue to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, Erekat was quoted by AFP as having told journalists, and making a decision on it now "will be the destruction of the peace process".

U.S. President-elect repeatedly promisedduring the election campaign to move the American embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital city.

Earlier this week, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem "is a very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump."

Erekat's remarks came a day after Trump announced his decision to nominate David Friedman as the American ambassador to Israel. Friedman said following the announcement that he looked forward to working for peace "from the U.S. embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem".

Erekat warned of the potential outcome of moving the embassy and a change in the "longstanding position" of the United States that considers "the settlements as illegal".

"I look David Friedman and Trump in the eye and tell them -- if you were to take these steps of moving the embassy and annexing settlements in the West Bank, you are sending this region down the path of something that I call chaos, lawlessness and extremism," he said, according to AFP. READ MORE