Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Abbas warns against moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday warned of “serious implications” if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump follows through with his election promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"Moving the embassy will have serious consequences not only for the Palestinian people, but also for the legitimacy of the entire international struggle against the occupation," he told a visiting delegation from the leftist Meretz party, according to Army Radio.

At the same time, Abbas said he does not believe that Trump would actually follow through with the move.

"We are acting with patience and restraint in the face of President-elect Trump's statements," a source at the meeting quoted Abbas as saying in a conversation with Haaretz.

"We understand that things that are said during a campaign do not necessarily reflect the reality of his term. I do not believe that he will move the embassy to Jerusalem. Even he understands that this is a step with irreversible and broad significance beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Abbas also told the Meretz delegation that if Trump does move the embassy to Jerusalem, the PA would take steps in response. He did not, however, indicate what steps would be taken, said the source.

Trump repeatedly promised during the election campaign to move the American embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital city. READ MORE